Our data still glimmers from their cave
in the mountain, but dark comes earlier up here
between your shoulders. The men want our secrets to crack
as gulls eat clams: by dropping them from high.
The puppet-master holds court. Jealous peasants’
faces float dour above cunning little lights. The believers try
joining. Our shadows graze on the porch, headlights
passing headlights. No, flashlights on gravestones.
No, topography cross-sectioned, & the man’s finger
pointing to the rift, & the radiumed sliver where the femur snapped.
I should write to you more. I’m sorry. Each evening,
evening thunders in: trailing narcissus, direct-to-sepia.
The paper says the shootings will increase, like the famines,
as our water goes. A grand magician’s favorite tiger has died.
Ours is a century contaminated on either side,
like a weekend. Bees love the pears, which are ornamental,
like me. A woman says I’m so glad we finally got to re-connect.
A famous man replies Great to meet you. In our group photos,
I can’t un-see who would’ve been shackled. Once I molded
my apology to the shape of my body, then I stepped out
of my body. The new war leaks its music into
the meadow. I’m trying to drink more water.
The big lion’s paw on my chest is mud-caked
cracked. Once you said there, there,
there was a lake in you the size of a mirror. I didn’t dare
ask how big the mirror was. That was long ago. Before
I could point to where I was done for.
Nina Puro is a poet, human, & queer weirdo whose writing is in the Brooklyn Rail, Guernica, the PEN/ America Poetry Series, & others. A member of the Belladonna* Collaborative; author of two chapbooks (Argos Books and dancing girl press); recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Deming Fund, & Syracuse University (MFA, 2012), Nina cries and works in Brooklyn.
*Photo courtesy of the The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Wheat fields from Winchester Hill. Nez Perce County, Idaho.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections.