Photo by Nathan Lemons



Invasive Species

After the bomb your body becomes bunker to pandaemonium. Your heart a nuclear winter. You heave open your ribs’ hull. Creatures clamor in, cramped and chittering. Fur and tooth. Squirm and blight. Your couplings little holocausts. They eat you out, healer turns monster. Bright spinal knurls spatter against the wall, a Pollock painting. Your gut a panoply, devil’s knot. Nest of snakes, Medusa-wound. Medea-mad. You name yourself Aftermath.



Quarantania, I

Night calls unbreakable wild girls and beasts, spooky green-screen graffiti, a resurrection. I love the white moon circles and purple halos, dogs going prophet, paradise-blue heartbeat raining alien music, orchestras and choruses. I whistle essential shots in the dark when the fog of the riverbank rises like a holy ghost and April evenings come with no memory. Then night moves like a flower, all daisy face and fairy blossom. Or a star. There is a kind of power in that, a testimony, a witnessing. Spring storms grizzle the high mother planet. We decide what’s sacred. We don’t have to be here. Plush wild dogs wrap tiny truths, adrift on a wide unpunctuated sea, asterisks and little barnacles, bottomless apothecaries. This dis-ease is a black art, its jazzed badlands wading and flawed. Every secret I tell makes telling the next one easier, the forest still drips albatross guts and hope clawed as hunger. Buddha said in this life we look for our fingerprints from our other lives, risk diving full hell. In Hindu mythology Kali is the goddess of time and change, of power and destruction. She could easily I think be the goddess of now. Brooklyn streets are slick and wet, the pavement disappearing under iridescent puddles, the sky closing in. It begins.



Quarantania, II

Violent love drugs knuckle the peeled world in an intimate alien cinema, you and I housebound sea dwellers stuck virtually searching: uncrowded beaches, witch hunts, tattoos, manslaughter. Once we drove South all night, past a brothel called the Moonlite, to taste Memphis pure wildflower honey, its beekeepers hanging green manuscripts to smoke out the queen in a wild forest exodus. (In a dream I wrote this poem: Apocalypse Camp at the Dawn of the Great Extinction.) Spellbound on a doom loop wonderland, we stumbled further South to Fontainebleau Beach, guzzling sea salt chards, black krill, opalescent swirls in pigments pomegranate, only darker, like a plague of unsolved femicides. White nighthawks silvered the most remote ocean, its helium escape valve a bauble star ring as perpetual light became shadow, and I knew then I’d be yours forever.



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