Conscription: in Love with Antagonists

Madness is your ancient blood
reaching back, a will
power and magnetism, the result
of iron swirling in the core
of osmosis and Lent. Why overcome
the pull of your tribe that resides
in the memories
of oil and air? Reassume the august
(the bloodlust) consolation
for brevity: the magnitude.

Engaging the pianist
in hand-to-hand combat, you
recoil at the possibility
he’ll play his next concert
with your hands, he’ll nail them
to the sound of metrical
and meteorological law, as if all
you did was
disembowel him
with rhetoric. You do not wish to be eternally
neutered, nor do you wish to neuter
eternity; but if given the choice?

Lay down your ring
fingers, elections and reapers! Wake
the cock at dawn
with a whoop! Your bones
were forged in the meaningless
dance, your bonds are the fiery rain
in the dream-songs
of nothing, and nothing
trembles, and in this way
the scientist and poet, or what
we call Life.

about the author
Jake Sheff is a captain in the USAF currently training as a pediatrics resident physician. He’s married with a baby daughter and several rescue pets. His poems have been published widely online and in print, including at Pirene’s Fountain and Danse Macabre. His first chapbook, Looting Versailles, was recently released by Alabaster Leaves Publishing, and can be purchased on the publisher’s website or