The Riot Squad is Restless (They Need Somewhere to Go)

Author | Martin Golan

For Sara, who left Bob far behind

How can I question what you are?
You, who could flash a smile and make
his art. That’s why he kept you
so high on a pedestal, lost in mystery. His love
was brutal to have, and on learning
that you began to hate
The endless ways he worshiped your masks
and wrote of your beauty in words so hazy
you were every man’s dream, branding
you forever with his songs, the poetry
that millions analyzed – they hung on every word, but were totally dense
to the meaning of those mad, majestic imaginings

But still, even now, blood lust springs
from the knife of his absence
You know that he
would kill to get you back, to keep your standing
as his sad-eyed lady
In the mirror your body asks
questions of fate:
How could you be the object of such yearning?
Is that you in those songs? Is it all that you’re made of?
The answers you have do not ring true
He knows you’re a sham, a fraud, a fake
But how can I question what you are?


About the Author | Martin Golan's poetry has appeared in many publications, including "Poet Lore," "The Pedestal. Magazine," and "The Dos Passos Review." He's also published a novel, "My Wife's Last Lover," and a collection of short stories, "Where Things Are When You Lose Them." In addition, he was associate editor of the poetry magazine Bitterroot for several years.

His book of poetry, "A Note of Consolation for Lucia Joyce," will be published early next year.