from The Somnambulist (Horse Less Press, October 2016)
The pain that plagues me most often manifests in my mouth and throat. I suspect my symptoms
are a sign, but of what, I don’t know.
I find an article on the Vishudda chakra, located in the pit of the throat.
One poet asks in the preface to her book Grief Lessons,
“Do you want to go down to the pits of yourself all alone?”
I do and I don’t. The mysticism of the Vishudda beckons me forth. In bed, while reading, I
consider my recurring streptococcal rotted throat. The implications of being sick—sick of missing
someone I have grown too accustomed of talking to, about, with.
Those well versed in the secrets of the Vishudda say it’s guilt that makes the throat red, rot. I feel
that, the steadfast averseness of it. Pain pitches a tent inside the poet where it hurts, as they
say, in the pit of the throat.
Don’t count on a grief-ridden creature to be compelled to do the right thing.
After an ex’s mother had OD-ed, I poured the wrong man a stiff drink.
We drank until our tongues went limp.
At 3:04 AM—a genital eclipse. The light emanating from my body obscured by the shadow of
another passing body.
In a nightmare, The Somnambulist cries out one magic sound.
(If it was consensual) Does it make a difference which?
This is where the abstraction begins, at the edge of my memory’s incontinence. I circle
the empty space inside
my mind a lead place I
retreat to so that I may
When I go to this place, I tell myself that two people who are the remnants of a blue-black kind
of love will always love in the style of their illness, but as the blue-black mass begins to rise to
the surface, I find that I cannot accept a love that would just as soon drown us.