Human Song

Sid Gold

How strange to have come all this way
on the path toward perfect ignorance
& to have stopped here, a man alone

in his hair shirt, incarnate among those
who scoff at fate & enjoy rough games
& luck they never comprehend.

How different to have been a goat—
surefooted, obstinate—but keeping
my mouth shut when undisturbed

or a cicada, sleeping away the years
& content to wait patiently for the chance
to pitch my wingsong into an electric blur.

Each morning, when I seek my daemon
in the mirror above the sink, a strawberry
of fresh blood drawn by a dull blade

clotting on my neck like a birthmark
I cannot help but venture a tentative smile
at the unmistakable humanity
minted like a coin upon my face.

Sid Gold is the author of Crooked Speech (Pond Road Press, 2018) and three other full-length collections of poems. He is a two-time recipient of a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award for Poetry and has had poems published in Poet Lore, Southern Poetry Review and Tar River Poetry, among other journals. His work is also forthcoming in Brokeback Mountain Review and Gargoyle. He lives in Hyattsville MD.