History began with a stroller in the sand,
one wheel broken, three rolled in remembrance.
Kings tried to catch it, and sailed over dunes
as the peasants prayed for the child within.
Souls were sent in every direction,
blood was the only nourishment.
as armies fought for centuries over youth.
Soldiers in Jerusalem
cakewalked up a beanstalk, marched forward
and ventured to the center of selves:
“Through layers of lover’s faces I have dreamt,
eyes replaced the pair before.
But the first eyes I remembered more so than the last
and it is the measure of every face after.
One more year of magic tricks will not kill me
but it is no cure. It is hard to hold onto my shadow,
in the middle of the day.”
As soon as Socrates’ abstract tigers
made of paper and covered in testimonies
written in oil began to roam, it rained.
The words washed into the river
dissolved the truth, and the stroller
toppled over into the bay.
M. N. O’Brien received his B.A. from Roanoke College, where his work was published in On Concept’s Edge and received the Charles C. Wise Poetry Award. His work was most recently published in SOFTBLOW and Counterexample Poetics. He currently lives in Lexington, Kentucky, constantly risking absurdity in a Ferlinghetti sentiment, playing old folk vinyl records and studying astrophysics and poetry. He feels awkward writing in the third person.