“Victory” — Denis Johnson

“Victory”

by

Denis Johnson


the woman whose face has just finished breaking
with a joy so infinite

and heavy that it might be grief has won
a car on a giveaway show, for her family,

for an expanse of souls that washes from a million
picture tubes onto the blank reaches

of the air. meanwhile, the screams are packing
the air to a hardness: in the studio

the audience will no longer move, will be caught
slowly, like ancient, staring mammals, figuring

out the double-cross within the terrible progress
of a glacier. here, i am suddenly towering

with loneliness, repeating to this woman’s
only face, this time, again, i have not won.

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