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Spell 55


Damn it’s hard to be the jackal of jackals damn
this breath in me     Quiet

                                             I’m not
breathing I’m just looking to eat

shit      fill up      cheese is the only cure
for my depression

                                    & when I open
my fridge in the dark my neighbors

across 93rd pretend not to see
                                    Fuck you

the night sky earth bird god I am finally trying

to get some air      get someone to open wide
my mouth

                     so I can live & get it over with







Gabrielle don’t kick out Gabrielle keep your toes
inside the metal bars Gabrielle I learned your name

for the first time when the paramedics brought you down
the stairs
                 your grief at my door a gas leak a pandemic

                  & I didn’t answer didn’t answer the door before
but the laughing cops found their way to the fire

escape & up saw a light on in your bathroom
I know you
                            just wanted to triumph      I know

                            you wanted to be triumphant over what
was done against you      daughter      serpent      junkie

Fuck     fuck      fuck this     underworld tightrope supernova
Gabrielle you are natron     freshwater     Percocet     you made

your own sleep your head will not be taken from you now
will not be taken from you galaxies






Blue June reads my tarot in a Brooklyn mausoleum, draws
The Empress  In Reverse      says  There’s a fiery woman

in your life
—          No shit, I call her Anxiety
     I don’t know how to explain the grave dust
            to my dry cleaner but I think he’ll take the cash

Would anyone believe me if I said I still pray

to the gods of the Second Avenue Subway
I just want everything      to go a little bit faster
                                than yesterday

            I’m so damned      tired
       of kinship with corpses & the earth & its disorders

       but it’s OK I’m learning      what resurrection means, how to
             unjump a river talk back to a mirror

Empress give me back my mouth
so I might love with it, like a pelican

Dig me up      un-moth me      leave me steady
           on my hands & teeth

I have known the realm of the dead
They didn’t want me



Matt Petronzio - Powder Keg.jpg


Matt Petronzio is a poet, journalist, and editor living in New York City. His poems have appeared in PANKInDigestDay OneGhost Ocean, and elsewhere. You can find more at mattpetronzio.com and on Twitter at @mattpetronzio.