By God’s Bones

a poem by
ALEXANDER ZITZNER | Student + Writer

 Considering the theme of fragility, I was inspired by a quote that my grandmother would tell me during our conversations about religion: “Man needs god because man is weak.” I constantly question her idea, but coupling it with a quote from The The, my poem expresses my fears of heaven, hell, and nothingness, as it is difficult for me to comprehend their awesome nature.

Photo by Jonas Jacobsson

“I’m scared of god and scared of hell,
and I’m caving in upon myself.”
-The The, “Giant”

I AM yoked to the flesh of earth. Playing packmule
to the weight of the world, I knot my words in wind

and wash my will with blood from out my chalice.
An eternity of cut wings strapped callous by rope.

As there is a net in which you see me, a great whale,
dying from the fear of an almighty, bright freedom

filled without desire being harpooned through brain
tissue before rising higher than the sea and its dark salt.

If I am left forgotten to bleed out amongst sharks
and the slime of eels, what bewitched my skeletal

density to keep me from flying was broken by dirt
stained into every depth of my hands. But I will be

cleaned. Whether filtered by the air or the sulphuric
sand beneath, I will be naked, finally carrying my scars.




Student + Writer

Alexander Zitzner is a student at UW-Eau Claire, where he serves as Editor-In-Chief to their award winning literary and fine arts publication NOTA, as well as an intern with the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild. His poetry has been featured in Sky Island Journal, twig, Red Cedar Review, among others, and is forthcoming in Barstow & Grand.