This is my body, me, splayed
on the road's crown like a shot bird.

Back street. No cars. Men step
over me, dogs and crows investigate.

My eyes gape. Circuitry of soul
is broken. I am in an odd shape

- twisted star - a pose I could never
strike in life. Gymnastic, almost.

This double-jointedness in death
soon tightens as the muscles lock.

My face cracks in the sun.
My hands point up and down the street,

as if to say "I came from here,
and there was where I headed..."

Pregnant with its own ferment,
my gut swells a blue uniform.

I do not recall the battle, army,
cause. I cannot see a bullet-hole.

There is a voice nearby - not loud.
The sky - not bright - is green with storms.

from Corpus (Cape, 2004), copyright © Michael Symmons Roberts 2004, used by permission of the author and the publisher

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1The Lung Wash



4Ascension Day

5Mapping the Genome

6To John Donne

7Why We Are Still Waiting


9The Shortest Day

10Cats Eye

11The Structure of Genes

12JWs in NSW

13Soft Keys

14Messaien in Gurlitz 1940

15Annunciation at the Hookses


17The Qualities of Fallout

18A Storm

19The Ram-Raid

20Strange Meeting



23The Box



26Carnivorous - I

27Food for Risen Bodies - I

28Carnivorous - II

29Food for Risen Bodies - II

30Carnivorous - III

31Food for Risen Bodies - III

32Carnivorous - IV

33Food for Risen Bodies - IV

34Carnivorous - V

35Food for Risen Bodies - V

36The Frequency

37Food for Risen Bodies - VI

38Anatomy of a Perfect Dive


40The Gifts


42The Botanical Gardens


Books by Michael Symmons Roberts