Making Lists (Poem)


Absent the moonfire; swallow nightjar mists; slice

black circles to blind the stars;


                                                twelve years past the recent double aught

cloak the night in swaddling Nix; 

deaden the spider-limb oak ruling the backyard, its

                                                i found railtracks and eleven dead crows

eldritch pigsnout legs snuffling, truffling;

firecrisp the jungle grass. The devil-list of to-dos she tasks herself

                                                like tenpins all sprawled by the ties

grows. Listen: a clockmaker once

honed perfection—cogs like quarks, gears and screws

                                                around ninth street i found sneakers

inscribed with planetary orbits. She doesn’t care,

jewel-eyed, pearl-skinned, teeth like corals. She

                                                in figure-eights assembled by phone wires    

kicks the air, her hooves rollicking, punching.

Listen: she’ll rattle off whole enumerations,

                                                i found seven bucks in a cigarette pack

manic as a bloodshark, a sleeper

Norn whittling whole forests from bone. 

                                                i’d known her six months double-doubled

On nightbrain pages, she writes. From

parchments unknown, she

                                                by then her five-footish frame my twinheart

quotes the ghosts traveling her spine, lists by

rote tongue their secrets. She floats by,

                                                we gave no quarter to the hellscene she and

summer-skinned and seeing still

the small colors of every atom. Listen: 

                                                me and our dream made three we shotgunned

underworld, upperworld—we only

visit each, chanting beneath 

                                                apartment to apartment through two cities

whippoorwill moons, morning skies

xanthic and butter-honeyed and daffodil-filled.

                                                we were lightnings singing one thunderhymn

Yarrow-white, her throat moves. Listen:

zero good will come from this.

                                                and there have been zero regrets about any of this.

Thanks to the editors at Lamplit Underground for including this in Volume 3.

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