Poor Claudia published poetry, prose and conversations online and in print from 2009 to 2018.

Nina Puro

Fig. 287: Diagram the shipwreck before the shipwreck.

    Fig. 287: Diagram the shipwreck before the shipwreck.

    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

    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.