After Lingua Ignota


It’s a woman’s voice, of course, cut by razorblades, studded

with birthday cake icing, crinkled 

through the headphones I bought at the corner store

where the old folks pay for mints in exact change, say

Wait wait, I have the twenty cents,


bless their gestures holding up the line, their patience  

though I lack it. When I see pennies, I don’t pick them up.

I’m always on my way to something, but today

the parties worthy of crop tops and smoke swirled

hangs playing video games and sun-cut


city streets are canceled. Today it is me 

and the disembodied god voice sinking 

in the carrion of spring, the soil

like battered plums, the fawns curled to fists

in the rye. Wind sings through the teeth


of the wood saw. In all-caps I sext a man

with a grim reaper tattoo. Yelling 

is what I do when I think I will  

die soon. Like when love with its wet dog nose

brushes my thigh and I say


 ÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ! Before the lines of code

bridging our faces, before 

highways, wires and vaccines catapulting 

our death dates to the other side of the mountain—

Did we find each other


just like this, yelling into the night

with disembodied god voices, orchids

opening to the moon? I send black heart 

emojis to my real ones, 

the ones who’d lick my devil


scar from the Fourth of July

firecracker, the ones cackling

YES off the balcony and gifting us 

permission to unclench the jaw, 

dislodge the god, voice HELLO







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