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Up Against It, One Throne Magazine

"Lost Assassin" by Slyvanie.
© Please do not reproduce without artist's permission.

by Ephraim Scott Sommers

We drink and drink as if rebellion has a body.

Never a wall around the outside world so infinite

as ours, we discover, and not any one particular gap

in the pavement or any one particular face, not the Creature


or War Child stitched across our hoodies, the day

we set each other on fire and swan-dive off the Avila docks,

or the way the trucks on the skateboard Kenny swings sound

against Adobe Dan’s jaw, not our hands knocking together


which become for us a constitution we will stuff into our mouths

and rumble forward grunting. We drink. Never an enemy so infinite

as ours, and not how it will dump us into County, into cashiers,

into cement mixers and lumber trucks, into alcoholics or Afghanistan,


not how we never get caught for when we whisper a bulldozer

beneath the surface of the Salinas River or when we ease

a severed donkey-head into the public pool and call it a win,

but more the way we discover something named Adobe Dan is


a granite we can never be, and no matter how ruthless and cheap

the jeans, the knees, the bolt-cutters, the shoulders, the bones,

the chisels, the ball-peens, the paint buckets and the pipe

wrenches we throw against it, the fucker never goes down.


So we have played our nights like a game of brutal dice

in the out-of-pocket way, something has forced us to eat

our own teeth, and now we worship, finally, at the cup of gravel

and loss because submission, too, is a body, and it swallows us all.


A singer and guitar player, Ephraim Scott Sommers was born in Atascadero, California. Recent poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Beloit Poetry Journal, Prairie Schooner, Thrush, TriQuarterly, Verse Daily, Zone 3, and elsewhere. He currently teaches creative writing at Western Michigan University where he is finishing his PhD. For music and poetry, please visit:




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