Angels know me by scent alone. Precise
is their reaping my confessions. I am stained.
God is stainless. A crescent moon pierces
the night. Stars: wounds grouped and sainted
as constellations. I counted my blows, dared
the bruises to implode like dying suns. Instead,
they hid behind skin to mask their dread.
Blood, my citizens, I speak as a creed-lit
failure, faith in me a venom, adder-
fire if the adder were God. I cried Let
me feel You like Abraham poised to sever
Isaac, though I am filth, am derelict.
Look how a lilt of dust is built to serve,
sits on the lips like a song with no verse.
Read “Aboutness: a conversation with Phillip B. Williams” here.
Phillip B. Williams is a Chicago, Illinois native. He is the author of the chapbooks Bruised Gospels (Arts in Bloom Inc. 2011) and Burn (YesYes Books, 2013). He is a Cave Canem graduate and received scholarships from Bread Loaf Writers Conference and a 2013 Ruth Lilly Fellowship. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Anti-, Callaloo, Kenyon Review Online, Poetry, The Southern Review, West Branch and others. Phillip is currently a Chancellor’s Graduate Fellow at the Washington University in St. Louis and is working on his MFA in Creative Writing. He is the poetry editor of the online journal Vinyl Poetry.