Aaron Coleman, Elegy For Apogee

Drowning? Consider this: What is desire? Who or what devours
what or whom? How close is absurdity, is irrelevance, is danger?
In denial? In the divine? Dish water? What is that tremble

in the feet and the mouth of the fly romancing the crumbs
on the brim of the sink from the night before? Do we have to
eat everything? Do we have to chew endlessly and never

burn our tongues? Can you choke her if she asks you to
squeeze hard no harder no keep going but don’t
enjoy it too much? Can we lie there in our sex, exhausted,

and breathe and swallow and remain touched, halved,
inside, conscious of conscience? Whose conscience?
Whose collateral? Whose collapse? Whose end?

Who’s dark as the id? Be exotic to myself? Enjoy
the translation of my body in whose mouth? Who can work
the hurt and urge and rage like words, like puzzles,

like a body, like whose? Bring out which tantalizing bodies
from the stockroom and wild with meat and cheese cultured
and aged in the fat of what? How much of this mind

is mine? Where is my canary? What should we do with the soot
seeping into the porous pornography of my giving up? Who owns
the other wild canaries kidnapped from their islands for the cages

of coal-fraught mines? Who can explain what happened? ¿Dónde
estaban? ¿Y dónde estoy? ¿Como vas ahora negrito? ¿Negrita?
¿Conquistador, como andas adentro sin doors? What did you ever

love enough to try to take, to force open, to touch? ¿Disfrutas
tanto como dices? Do you hate as much as you say you hate?
How long do we have to wait to coat our quills with kindling

before we explode? Forget my ancestral antique cave? Forget my myths?
Forget my holes? Who’s been shorn? I am on display as owned bones
in what museum-made home? What want won’t leave me alone?

Why and how do bodies fuck and war, pattern and rattle the windows
in the ecstatic upper rooms of the special collections gallery? Who can say they love the ache of their anger? Who can really say they trust their anger

the way they trust their want? Who doesn’t ask? Who’s anxious? Who’s
anchored to the brutal arc inside of eyes? To the loll of heirloom lace?
To the sacrosanct crawl space? To the naked hangers clattering

in whose closet? To the craters in the body’s moonscape movie set
backed by big time producers of what screen-stitched nostalgia?
To which actors delivering breakthrough after breakthrough

performance after performance? To which decrepit theater
of my body, collapsed and taken back by the roots and vines of trees,
an abandoned stage, dim and splintered now, with what kind of want?

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