Amit Majmudar

Rune Poem

Wealth is a wolf, in the hedge found.
She eyes you, blinking cold coins.

The auroch, Thor’s ur-ox,
Rushes the hunter in his camo vest.

The work week is a ladder of thorns
We ascend to the rose of a weekend.

The ash tree blossomed these runes.
Awestruck, we are most us.

Riding is sacred, asphalt a psalm.
Hell’s Angels read the road.

Contagion, bedbound, keeps count
As fever’s red creeps up five.

Hail falls on the desert, a cold seed.
White wheat haloes all the hills.

Need knits his brows over his bills.
How does a have-not have three jobs?

Ice is deceiving, glass on the lake.
It chokes children without a trace.

Earth is an heiress rumored rich,
Left a legacy of acrid air.

The sun, unsullied, smiles dully
At the soiled creek, the spilling oil.

Tired of war, we wear our tears,
Interior amulets.

We bark at the sky as hard as we can,
But the Gods remain swingers of birches.

The more he wants no more than he has,
The more he becomes more than he is.

Bottoms up in the name of the father,
Water of life or bitter lager.

A new yew tree erupts from Ur’s sewers.
Time eats its young and overwrites the ruins.

Amit Majmudar is a diagnostic nuclear radiologist who lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife and twin sons. His poetry and prose have appeared in The New York TimesThe New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Best American Poetry anthology (2007, 2012), The Best of the Best American Poetry 1988-2012, Poetry Magazine, Granta, Poetry Daily and several other venues, including the 11th edition of the Norton Introduction to Literature. This is his third appearance in an issue of 32 Poems. His first poetry collection, 0′, 0′, was released by Northwestern in 2009 and was a finalist for the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Faber First Book Award. His second poetry collection, Heaven and Earth, was selected by A. E. Stallings for the 2011 Donald Justice Prize. He blogs for the Kenyon Review and is also a critically acclaimed novelist. Visit for details.