The first time a Medieval castle was built it was done using people.
Or the backs of people.
Who were in love with each other enough.
So they made a city. Using their arms and hands.
To sculpt the torsos and necks of considerate gods. To name the gods stones.
And stand the gods on the outside of the city.
Where they could look inside at the people.
Inside, the people always had other people laboring.
Beneath their skin metal splinters were reacting to the first part of the body.
So the ridges beneath the skin rose to appear on top of the skin.
A coat of arms should make you feel that new body inside your body there are many bodies.
We are grateful for how well bodies build into bodies.
Strong laborers are the people who must love one another for 1000 years.
Like they love other people inside their city.
So long as they’re named after their city.
Kent Shaw’s work has recently appeared or is forthcoming from jubilat, The Literary Review, and Cincinnati Review. His second book was awarded the 2018 Juniper Prize and will be published by University of Massachusetts Press in 2019. He teaches at Wheaton College in Massachusetts.