In the bloodbath of 2017 (and American history), the risk of alienation is real: we feel the anger and perceived helplessness of our surroundings–watching as the “centre cannot hold”–and poetry, as always, allows us to share the anger and therefore connect with artists and thinkers who still dream of surviving this nation intact.

From Waxwing, the venerable voice for our nation’s poets, comes the latest from the poet and scholar Brian Michael Murphy. Read it once, let your blood boil, and read it again, and sink into the salve of language, that sword of hope. The poem is called “Love, a Hungry Gun.”