ASSASSINATED CONGOLESE PRIME MINISTER PATRICE LUMUMBA IMAGINES

HIMSELF PERCHED 

ON THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA


PAUL DAVID ADKINS



I had a dream: walking the Great Wall

as Head of State.


A rite of passage to stride above the interred,

their clatter of skeletal attention unheard

as I walk hand-in-hand with Zedong,

while peasants shade us with umbrellas.


I was robbed.


I was born

to balance along that wall,


to see both sides sewn closed

with a ten-thousand-mile stitch,


a scar to cinch

the bulging belly

of the earth.


To watch the dancers

tug their yards of silk.


To applaud the acrobats

and point


as a fly-over barrel-rolled and whipped

its red-smoke stripes to cumulus.




Listen to Paul read "Assassinated Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba Imagines Himself Perched on The Great Wall of China" below:

00:00 / 01:09

PAUL DAVID ADKINS served in the US Army from 1991-2013. He holds an MA in Writing and Oral Tradition from The Graduate Institute, Bethany, CT. He counsels soldiers and teaches students in a correctional facility. Publications include River Styx, Pleiades, Longleaf Review, Connecticut River Review, Baltimore Review, and Whiskey Island.

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