American Sonnet for My Past and Future Assassin

Terrance Hayes

The song must be cultural, confessional, clear
But not obvious. It must be full of compassion
And crows bowing in a vulture’s shadow.
The song must have six sides to it & a clamor
Of voltas. The song must turn on the compass
Of language like a tangle of wire endowed
With feeling. The notes must tear & tear,
There must be a love for the minute & minute,
There must be a record of witness & daydream.
Where the heart is torn or feathered & tarred,
Where death is undone, time diminished,
The song must hold its own storm & drum,
And cast a noise so lovely it is sung at sunset
Weddings, baptisms, & beheadings henceforth.


Read more poems in this series by Terrance Hayes by purchasing a print or digital copy of the Mar/Apr 2018 issue here.

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