portrait in oblivion (isa)

Ridgewood, NJ, August 2020

she says 			i can cook vegan
she says 			savory
				nutritional yeast flakes 
				harvested for good health
our face is probably the only thing of that scale
crushed red pepper flakes
our face obsessed in its desire for duplicate
i didn't choose this sacred hardware
our battle ax-thin XXX bride
prime butch dress cascading salvo
cachaça bottle thick hairy professor
				in the window sill
				go fast,
she says					the advertisements 
to the confident			are coming to
advertisers				shake you awake

Dear Oblivion

Lake George, N.Y., July 2020

i’ve
stubbed my tone again
against the edge
of some other universe
under the weekly
farmers market
near the free whiskey
samples retired
dentist who
summers in santa
monica who
explains volatilization
charcoal
filters in his coronavirus
mask
the perfect gift
for clark

i’ve
taken off again
around pluto
in the byzantine
eyes of man
nothing to do
wife away

i’ve
glanced out again
from my crashing
self sea

i’ve
named myself again
spoiled oil
spilled spinning
top approaches
edge gravity
angel’s share
bitter ship
gasping heir
to a ruined king-
dom of collapsed
arteries rough
concrete
sidewalk gone
feral over rough dog-
wood root

again
to say
enough.

Dear Oblivion

Jersey Avenue, Jersey City, N.J., June 2020

So much light, dear oblivion, night after night; I offered up my body. You refused. I drank. Begged, really. Said my dreams, you don’t belong here. Some countable mornings ahead, crouched in the internet’s dark corners, hands reaching into prosaic brightness, not to gather, but offer: News spreads of a virgin conception. And so much light.

Dear Oblivion

Main Street, Hackensack, June 2020

Prayer peels soul from body. Robin-eyed memory of never known. The scent of winter jasmine, he writes. I ascent, with neither knowledge nor trace experience. Mouth crawls with the acid taste of spider webs. Begging, really. Dear Oblivion, I continue asking the drain — conduit from, passive voice, channel away — to do the hard work. Three-fourteen a.m., a mournful eight-legged poet struggles to drag a stone amphora the size of a casket across the backyard — no vacancies.

Dear Oblivion


dear oblivion
i hear you
shredding bone
in the golden
place
salivating
somewhere
unknowable
a man
grills
meat
a child
screams

what i mean to say
is this, dear oblivion:
i remember
the littoral darkness
of the rising afternoon
the light
never
having
been
enough

dear oblivion
i hear you
crawling away