“Look at that, you son of a bitch” by Peg Duthie


“Look at that, you son of a bitch” by Peg Duthie


In the world I want to believe in, we would greet
hard truths with the gentleness born of water
long gone under the bridge, milk wrung out
of mops whose grey-clean strands
also soaked up the tearfalls slicking
the hay and slopping the mud against
our came-by-their-age-honestly boots. Meanwhile
the moon, which our schoolteachers said
didn’t have water, turns out to have plenty,
albeit not yet potable. That won’t help the folks in Flint
all but screaming to be heard
so many months about their tainted water. Fire
speaks louder than ice or poison. Fire
beats scissors and paper, but rock-
hard facts will sometimes outlast fire
and the love of lucre feeding it. Mind, science
is not a synonym for truth, but science
will soak the o-rings into icy water
after the shuttle burst into flames.
Will drag the jugs of yellowed water
across the miles and into the halls
of prosecutors and presidents. Will dream
of hopping across the ice-pocked floors
of nearby moons. Of coming back
to tell you just enough to ignite
a fury fit to rinse out stables—just enough
to stagger you with its shiningness,
this world I have seen and want you to save.



First curated by Rattle, February 2016


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Peg Duthie’s Artist Statement: Peg Duthie is a bisexual Taiwanese Texan museum editor and sports photographer. She worked for almost a decade in Michigan before moving to Tennessee. She is the author of Measured Extravagance (Upper Rubber Boot, 2012), and there’s more about her at nashpanache.com.



Author: A Room of Her Own

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