This week’s Word Choice was selected by BOMB intern Lena Valencia.
Bancroft’s bizarre fable recalls the horrifically magical world of the brothers Grimm while hinting at allegory. “Giant” is a poem about a society’s attempt to rid itself of its ills. It is both fantastic and eerily resonant in today’s political climate.
by Josiah Bancroft
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,
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
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
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.