Clairvoyance is a chemical let off late inside the brain. We love
its upper lip, its hangnail, as, outside in the porch-lit dusk,
we scamper over the hampered wastage set forth by conventional
conversation and slip-stream affections. Truth appears between
the umlaut’s horns, summing up, cashing in the confidence that
always stands behind inaccurate truths for, we infer, recycled
verve and its acidic, conjugal word-of-mouth. Sweat soaked, un-
tied. Loneliness here is loneliness in an everywhere no longer felt.
To think of the canvas as a body, to think
Of the body as a station, to think
This poem posthumous.
It’s as if we think of the park behind the house
As the enemy at the door, the same
As nature being natural, or feel a digital projection
On the trees.
The poem’s attempt to connect
Nature with art is in fact
Its attempt to connect life
With a newly released system of beliefs.
My jaw snaps back just
As I’m about to open it. A greater jihad
Is taking place inside my lungs
That I stop with sleep.
We are, living, never entirely still.
The smoke I breathe is equal parts arsenic and coal,
And it comes in gold.
I’ve been told that I lack empathy for
Other forms of emotion. The brokers, yes,
But also the beasts
All violently agree. The day
Of his death was the day Saturn rose.
Taking night-shifts to my grave, I see, in staves
pouring down from the greenery, an inner
light. My mouth is full of wanting, a passerby
to my body, and I’m within that drove
of witness—an account standing by, by and by.
This loss actuates its truth like youth steering
clear of its own impatience.
But how does one
tremble with confidence? one asks, plainly
to the beloved who is calling for a self-assured
kiss. My perennial over-inattention and/or
my former coroner’s report both corral me
into weakened immunity—short on sight.
It’s a dip in the curtain that lets light in.
The morning, shipped through me, comes later
now that she has deemed me unresolved.
I come alive for a promise—as chilling an oath
as death may grow—and, though the ache
turns toward me, I find my self in control
of inadequacies handed down me to me.
Andrew Nance’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Colorado Review, Guernica, Gulf Coast, The Literary Review, Prelude, The Volta, and elsewhere. He is the editor of Company. He lives in Athens, Georgia, where he is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Georgia. Find him online at: andrewnance.org