Kevin Prufer

Elected Body

The politician is dying. His tongue, stuck with feathers,
trembles in his mouth—his heart, a quiver
in the down. And where the throat begins, a wind,
a bird whistle, a heave that stutters the gauze
that covers the windows. The politician is dying.


Sometimes sunlight falls through the branches like a sigh.
The sun is an open throat. It curls the air into a blur of leaves.
Muscle twitch in the twigs, cough in the trees when the wind
blows, cataract on closed windows—the politician is dying
in his bed, his ankles greased with sweat.


And then the city is a silence. When the politician dies,
cars stop in their treads, airplanes hang like pennants in the sky.
Quake in the ribcage, still birds in his throat, heart-stop—
we halt in our loose-limbed crowds.


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© 2001 Electronic Poetry Review