To burn the bowl of sky,
remember to push the yellow chair in.
Downshift. Don’t ask about dissipation: point at which the room’s air
makes Lucier’s recorded assertion he sits in the room indecipherable;
when mourning becomes a twinge. The air has no fucks. That harmonica
is the wind’s tool, not yours. This death’s new still. Laminate the therapist’s
admonishment & hang it in your dive bar. No photos. Don’t turn down her bed
or the page where the moth died. To inhale the city that wants to kill you, marry
ketchups. Sidework harder. Forgive Grabbygreasypalms. Sheathe apron into wallet
& card to bar, bus, bodega. To prepare for longing,
remember to tickle the good place in the roof
of your mouth to go faster. It’s possible to love someone & fear them.
To fear for them. Now’s your best chance to buy that apocalypse seedkit!
Remember to let children hurt themselves. Don’t ask the cow-eyed
or rich for help or their pronouns. They know nothing. Ignore soldiers
whenever you can tamp your fear. To keep the pigs fed, text advice to someone
you mistrust on Tuesday. For good luck, hit snooze four times with no hand
on nobody’s waist. Forget the time-lapse lurch of her dead fingernails.
Remember azaleas singing through her ribcage. Remember to ask
about the dream with the dog’s cave. If outsourced
to mourn by proxy, pat soil around tulips wrong-side-up. To determine which
emergency, bury the smashed TV under the third row.
Make sure they pay you. Don’t post this. Start from the symbol
scratched in the fence of the house with thirteen apple trees
where the cairns fell that bad winter. To jump safely into the coal boxcar,
burn a candle in the most dangerous corner while you sleep
the night before. When you get there, unstitch your mom’s favorite sweater
in the solar wind. Someone will ask you why you’re on your own street. Explain
without any sudden movements. Stop convulsing. Every morning,
brush the crumbs off the void & laugh. You’ll look like someone about to arrive,
albeit not proximal to anyone who’ll inherit the reins. Some eat, some
get eaten. Haven’t your teachers always wished you the best?
Haven’t they taught you who gets it?
Nina Puro’s work has been in places including Guernica, H_ngm_n, and the PEN / America Poetry Series. The author of two chapbooks (dancing girl press and Argos Books) & recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Deming Foundation, Syracuse University, & others, Nina works & cries in a big queer house in Brooklyn.