Non Serviam

Your suffering is beautiful tonight. 

My friend an ordinary loser: 

My brother’s body my own. 

Life would be easier if you were all dead, 

Your red flesh in the red grave, 

The desperate whine of the whistle: 

She beneath beholds the pangs, 

His left hand is under my head 

(And his right hand doth embrace me). 

The invention of Mr. Harris plutocrat 

Who achieves the death of philosophy: 

Córdoba la heroica. Homicide. 

Other people have beautiful lives too. 

Israel before and Israel after: 

Araña quien te arañó? 

Una araña como yo. 

Speaking idiocy then, and by means 

Of blasphemy draw close to God. 

(At her consoling breasts: unimaginable.) 

Luxurious reminder of the geometric bird, 

As astonishing as diamond. 

He childed in Italy, doing nothing. 

The desperate whine of the whistle: 

I shall be content without the ocean. 

So the blue liquid night: 

So Abishag and the invention of poetry: 

One’s poetry praised for metaphysics. 

Spiders, and the Platonic independence 

Of countries that are safe there. 

Adam saw and was astounded, astounded 

And, not being Greek, was not frustrated anyway.


Zachary Erickson is an identical twin and originally from Quincy, Massachusetts. He has
also lived in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, and he studied for a semester in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is a graduate of Fordham University and is currently an MFA candidate at Columbia
University.

“Non serviam” takes its title from James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young
Man, and two of its lines are a quote from Martín Fierro. I hope that it honors both my
Argentine friends and my perpetual Albanian companions.

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