Signal Upon My Death

POETRY

By BILLY MALANGA

Don’t dress me up
in a suit strapped.
Tense.
A costume for worms

in rotting pine.

Makes no sense.

My lips know heat

comes from clash.

Let my bones collapse

into the oven fire

then reach for the handle

and pull the wire

so my red embers

can take flight

like fireflies returning

to the dark night.

If I have a choice

of a slouching funeral

or a white hot fire

I choose the fire.

Always choose the fire.

 

Billy Malanga (M.Sc. in Criminal Justice) is a first generation college graduate, U.S. Marine Corps veteran, and the grandson of Italian immigrants. He played college football and worked for many years in a state prison system. All of these influences have undeniably shaped his way of thinking about his art. His poetry reveals his small victories and his struggles in redefining masculinity in an effort to better understand the beauty and brutality of the world around him. His poetry has been published/or is forthcoming in: The Adelaide Literary Magazine’s 2017 Award Anthology; The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature; Indolent Books; Aji Literary Magazine; Burnt Pine Magazine; The Journal of Formal Poetry; Wraparound South Literary Journal; Spindrift Art & Literary Journal; and numerous online literary journals.

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