January 17, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

J Voves photo



Steven Duncan







If you slit America’s pulse,

where will the blood go?


How many chambers are in a human heart?

How many are in an airport waiting room?

If the chambers fill to bursting,

where will the blood go?


If ISIS is a cancer, has it spread to huddled masses?

Is ‘Muslim’ a marker?

Are we vetting infection by free radicals or every foreign body?

Is this bone graft rejection?

Have we ruptured already?

If a person is their country is their religion is their past,

isn’t each of us fit for a registry?

Are we not all beggars for a golden shore?

Who will be my brother’s keeper if I’m kept from him?


And if they die because we turned them away,

where will the blood go?





The Autopsy of Lenin



They uncrossed his bones

scissored open skin

weighed brain.


Blade traced over body

like hands over communion,

each stroke in veneration


envisioning in grave

solemnity, how scholars

would embalm an era


hemorrhaged and torn

vessels void, scars unseen

just beneath the lapel.


At last, they said

everything was there

but Lenin


and cut out their tongues

for the mausoleum

in lieu of red carnations.






Steven Duncan

Steven Duncan is a Utah Valley poet whose writing has been published by Silver Birch Press, Rock Canyon Poets, and Prolific Press among others. He lived in Siberia for two years and (barely) made it through both winters. Steven is studying microbiology and Russian at Brigham Young University and will attend medical school next fall. For more, visit stevenduncan.tumblr.com. 

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