Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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Prose Poem
SHJ Issue 15
Fall 2016

March in Denver

by Christien Gholson

Clear sky. The sun is a furious bird. Coal trains move through the mountains to the west. So many brilliant cars pass the anti-war signs speared into grass. When a car honks in support, a friend screams “Park your car!” He has only a few seconds to explain all of history.

The governor is up in the mountains, fishing. He casts his line. Concentric circles ripple through a jet trail. The sun opens its beak, a tongue of flame flickers. We march down Market Street. A couple of kids raise their fists and shout “Fuck the War!” A few teens holding shopping bags stare at us, confused. One raises a middle finger.

The sun flies from the mouth of a drunk vet: “I’ve been to war! What do you know about war?” I want to tell him the sun is a bird lover, a steel girder, a Hollywood movie starring the first atomic bomb; that it never stops burning eyes into the open face of water; that it never stops churning language back into blood for all of us to drink; that it eats time (that strange soft tissue); that only water throws it into relief.

We shout in front of the Halliburton high-rise: “War profiteers!” It’s Saturday, so of course no one’s inside. The sun ignites the back of a trout up in the mountains. The governor reels the fish in, laughing. A protestor with the face of a clown smears red paint across Halliburton’s glass doors. Suddenly, everyone is smearing red paint across the glass. The lone security guard rushes off to call his superiors. We run—reborn, burning with delight. We have stopped nothing.


SHJ Issue 15
Fall 2016

Christien Gholson

is the author of two books of poetry, All the Beautiful Dead (Bitter Oleander Press, 2016) and On the Side of the Crow (Hanging Loose Press, 2006), and a novel, A Fish Trapped Inside the Wind (Parthian, 2011). He lives in New Mexico with both the living and the dead.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury