Giant by Josiah Bancroft

Josiah Bancroft

Illustration by Tara Milch.


The giant is dead; died of natural causes

related to his unnatural largeness,

his rollicking habit.

This morning he was straddling roads,

pissing on merchant trains,

clobbering sheep

with his bare feet, eating virgins like popcorn.

Now he is draped across the valley:

an enormous, deflated

starfish. It isn’t safe. A dead giant brings

attention. We quickly cut him up

with tree-saws

and bait knives, and pass steaks of the giant

out to every house. We

eat him all night

straight from the skillet, make leftovers into

breakfast meat, pile his bones

and indigestibles

for the pigs. We and the pigs shit him out.

All are careful to collect the spore

in barrows and carts

to fertilize the valley. We plant something.

Anything. A beat like a bomb raid

rises when it rains.

Josiah Bancroft’s work has also appeared in Salamander, Rattle, Passages North, and New South, among others.

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