By Clint Margrave
from The Early Death of Men, NYQ Books, 2012

Then there was David,
whose dad poured kerosene on him
when he was six years old,
lit him up like a sparkler
in a Buena Park motel,

90% of his body charred,
leaving him hairless,
lips swelled like a mouth
inside a suction cup.

Every Friday, we said hello
on the way to chapel
at Eastside Christian,
before filling the pews
with our other classmates,

where we learned about
Christ’s bleeding palms,
and the cosmic custody battle
between God and Abraham,

where we learned about
the meaning of sacrifice,
and all the mysterious ways
that fathers loved their sons.


  1. Love the balance of horror and love and sacrifice and the Biblical brought into it all. The connections seem shaky and tenuous, but actually are not at all.

    Great piece. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: