David Boeving: A Crucifix Machine

Southern Lines

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I imagine black chairs where blue button-ups cover red undershirts. Plastic goggles cover eyes focused down on hands. White gloves. Dark hair wrapped tight with elastic, pressed to hunched spine. A breast-packed coop. All this through backlit liquid crystal. The glass—vertical and horizontal polarizer, color filter, thin-film transistor—the dust—pollen, hair, fiber, soil, skinI see. But I hear nothing. How could I? I imagine debeaking—a heated blade device—a shanty hearth, smokestacks like smoke signals, as if to say, abduction is nearby. White serif fades. “Women who work the night shift must take busses to the outskirts of the Shantytowns where they live. Some never reach home.” I imagine federales uprooting bodies, weed smoke burials, cocaine epitaphs. Intravenously polite / It was the walkie-talkies that knocked the pins down. I imagine families planting crosses, murder pink, a mass grave crop that can’t bloom, a crucifix machine, this tourist trap. I imagine that near the flower bed, those still alive, those still at work, sew shoes, jeans, couches, goods that—I imagine—I might have bought. These threads are so intricately designed.   


David Boeving teaches rhetoric and writing at Eastern Michigan University and poetry and fiction at the Huron Valley Women’s Correctional Facility. David has published poems in Body Electric (Ann Arbor) and “‘News’ ‘Conference’ or Play Your T. Card” through Frog Island Press, and poems and photographs in NEAT, and Tongue Mag. He lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan with his loving partner and their two cats.