Adam Day

The Protest I

Just before the record skipped

the breakers were plowing

through the sky,

marking it with white lines of foam.

Then the sky sank

into the barbed wire of night

like a mute sea that nothing explains

like cardinals swallowing themselves

like jellyfish twisting in the asphyxiated night.

And like a scream the crowd kept moving

through the corridor of police

turning their screams inside out

like leaves that cling to trees

too long into winter,

like the calving of icebergs,

like the beaches that were scars

in the crying cheeks of the night.

Adam Day is the author of Left-Handed Wolf (LSU Press), and of Model of a City in Civil War (Sarabande Books), and the recipient of a Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship for Badger, Apocrypha, and of a PEN Award. His work has appeared in the APR, Boston Review, The Progressive, Volt, Kenyon Review, Iowa Review, and elsewhere. He is the publisher of Action, Spectacle.