Always bad form to announce, this is a poem.
I’m not sure why. As if the few of us
who’ll ever read these lines
might think it anything else:
a letter to a dying monarch;
a guide to constructing something
without discernible parts. Like love.
Here I am, waiting on the night
to press up against the world
as though all stillness were penitence.
Or practice for your arrival.
For your body. For the sum of all your cells.
The billions which you are.
This is a poem.
So is your hair in the night.
Your hair in this composed night.
Bad form, bad manners, bad rhetoric
to say some simple thing like
the sunset glows red.
The moon burns with light
stolen from the sun.
In thinking of you
all else fails the test of artifice.
No longer is there any use in pretending
one thing is another.
I am tired of metaphor.
Whether our souls
are eternal shades,
or functions of biology,
I want you.
Whether your heart is a knot of muscle
beneath your ribs
and the modesty of your breasts;
whether it is a fragile vase
in which you have carried
all your life, here to me,
from a river which even now is shining.
“Eros Poetica” is from Because Everything is Terrible (Diode Editions, 2018).