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autumn/winter 2018

The Freezer

by Nicholas Goodly

I am in a house/ with no electricity/ the meat thaws/ 

wings and breasts/ below my room/ turkey  

necks and chitterlings/ undoing themselves/  

writing words/ held up one by one/ to a candlelight/  

black people’s hands/ on one hand/ held  

inheritance/ a silver herringbone/ worn/ around  

the wrists/ shackles/ there is ice cream/ in the ice box/  

I do not open it/ to not spoil the bodies/ and limbs/ preserved  

in there/ on the other hand/ is the invisible/ anger 

stuck/ choiceless/ like light in a web/ there is nothing  

I can do/ about the men in the freezer/ sweating up a storm/  

to be named/ and smelling/ through the air 

Nicholas Goodly is a Cave Canem Fellow, a recipient of the 2017 Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship and received an MFA from Columbia University. 

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