Prince Bush


A man says, I am handing you the knife.
I reply, I am receiving the knife.
My grandparents and mother drive
to the ER for fear. They don’t make it 
back. On I-24, a 21-vehicle-crash comes—
with no injuries. Then two people 
wreck and the interstate too
croaks. With whom I grieve very much
alive, I play chess with a computer, a stale,
check, or fool’s mate, a bird’s opening. 
A pawn, one knight threatens me, loss
or draw, and I don’t develop my pieces.
I’m made defensive. The bishops attack me. 
Sometimes, the knife’s placed on a table,
and I wait four minutes before I grab it.



You don’t understand: 
I was praying to die,
mud in the shower,
the shh happening 
like an earthworm, 
potash in the manure, 
its pesticide
in the urine, tears.
I would rev a saw 
to my bedrock, 
the nitrogen running.
I would pray, dry out,
and see a cube in the mirror 
of dirt with a towel around it,
mold on the head, the pit.
Exodus could’ve had me.


Prince Bush is a poet with poems in Black Warrior Review, PANK, Poet Lore, and more.