All the Rage / Jennifer Crow


shake fist, shake gates, shake hearts
with the force of the words you hurl—
and if words fail to move the world
you must bend the stones themselves
to your will, smother fools
with rivers of lava, with mountains

           move the lines society draws—
erase, expand, explode into shards
and shreds and sharp-edged clattering
bits that twist underfoot and when
the lords of this world send their slaves
to sweep up your challenge, unlock
shackles and dreams

                                     you dreamed
of fire, of flood, of a god’s wrath channeled
through mortal hands and you lifted bleeding palms
to a sky painted gray with ash and storm
and called lightning, forking acid
from horizon to horizon, the taste
of death at the back of your throat
because when you breathe deeply,
you inhale molecules of us, decaying

decay begins no matter how cold
the winter, unless, buried in ice
and mummified, the corpses wait
for a memorial carved in the melting ice
of a glacier, etched by icicles and rusting nails
or the sculptor’s fingernails, ragged keratin
across a cracked blue surface

                                               surface from your dream
and hack through the sheets binding your limbs
like a dreamer rising from the grave
or a goddess reborn into wrath and vengeance
because no one rages like you
and only the angry can fan sparking tinder
to a conflagration, a benediction, a salvation


Jennifer Crow's poetry has appeared in a number of print and electronic venues over the past quarter-century. Some of her most recent credits include work in Asimov's Science Fiction, Uncanny Magazine, and Kaleidotrope. She's always happy to connect with readers on Twitter, where she posts as @writerjencrow. She also reads slush for the new poetry department at Amazing Stories. Her collection of fairy tale poems, The First Bite of the Apple, was nominated for the SFPA's Elgin Award.