Gay in the Age of Copper
(2900-2500 B.C.)

posted Nov 15, 2011

It is good to be gay
in this age of copper
where hope rises
over mountains
of crumbling flesh,

before bronze peeks its
heavy head over the horizon,
causing tools to harden, gives
way to iron horses and
weapons that can not be undone.

How good to be gay
in this age of copper,
curled by your people,
tucked into earth's womb
in honor of how you first arrived.


His people bury him
like they bury their women,
placing a simple pot at his feet
after they have readied his body
for the next life, posing his shape

just so, on his left side.
They turn his head east
and stretch the earth over him.
He, like the women, shall see thousands
upon thousands of days begin—

unlike their men—
buried with hammers,
weapons, knives of flint.
Facing west, these men know
when the world slips away.


The wisdom of this age
is in us now, in our liver,
our bones, our blood. You'd

think that all these
patinated platelets coursing
through rivers of veins

would make us a species
highly conducive to living light
on this munificent land.


It is only a matter of time
before we return
to the mouths
of hungry caves.

Jennifer Clark has recent or forthcoming work in such journals as Raven Chronicles, Astropoetica, Driftwood, Defenestration, Rose & Thorn Journal, Paper Crow, Centrifugal Eye, Spittoon, Main Street Rag, and several others. Her first book of poems, Necessary Clearings, will be published by Shabda Press in 2014. She lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Clark’s poem “A Concise History of Michigan Cartology” also appears in this issue.