Skull of a Unicorn

Michael Dumanis

Sculptures are ghosts.

Your head is an object.


You are an object

in the question, What happened to you?


The animals, just-born, are uniformly

moist, benign. Such glistening skin.


Grown larger, they begin

to hunt each other.


There’s more beyond / but not too much.

This is a study / for a massacre.


We are like everyone unique

infused with the spirit of pain.


And you, one sorry horse’s

severed head some joker fixed


a spire of scintillating crystal to:

what happened to you?


Michael Dumanis is the author of My Soviet Union, winner of the Juniper Prize for Poetry, and coeditor of the anthology Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century. He teaches at Bennington College, where he also serves as editor of Bennington Review.