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Poem for Tucker Carlson's Face

by Paul Guest

So nothing anymore makes sense,
let me tell you. Is it secret
what you love, or loves you like
a medicine. A flame. I am
so committed to this moment
in which it’s easy to imagine a violence.
In movies, getting punched
seems to hurt just a little.
Mostly is impact, slap of meat on meat,
then an instant sleep
and no dream of crushed knuckles
and blood and pain
that will always linger.
When you’re old, grows worse.
When you press close
to a future warmth
and tell everything about a previous life.
I floated in space. I won.
The ocean was lavish then
and not dead and not memorial to this ruin
that seems to be encoded
within. I’m afraid of you. What you mean.
Last night the moon
in the sky hung
like a glowing fraction
and a stranger asked me if I believed in fate.
I thought of the night
I spent in an emergency room years ago:
a man lay sobbing
with a hunting knife in his shoulder.
My heart is broken, he sighed.
Let me go. Let me die. Let me out of here.
What he wanted, I did.
I do.

Paul Guest is author of four collections of poetry and one memoir. A Guggenheim fellow and a Whiting Award winner, his poems have appeared in Harper’s, POETRY, The Southern Review, The Paris Review, Kenyon Review, Tin House, and elsewhere.