A Dictionary of Perishing
I die alone. Rivers of my memory
parch. In each eye, a noose of shadows.
Out my window, linen folds the moon.
My heart is a labyrinth of tendrils.
What takes me sounds wounded, what
takes me is soothed by the trees
as they shiver green ships onto
the pavement. Out my window, rain
personifies the consonants of day.
I become a small boat left to the current.
My hair a trail of ivy, my hair a wild
of carousels or the door to something
smoke. Yesterday sleeps infinite nights
in the same copper bed while I hold it
in my arms, my eclipse, while I touch
my wrists to the razors it wept.
An affliction that skins me at the mouth.
An insomnia no chemical could crack.
Shrouds grackle. Shallows mend.
I grow tired of the mire that dreams me
into less. I grow tired of waiting for the moment.
Bones, with their forever, shine. Soft
in a simile of ashes. Inside me, thresholds,
groves enough. Oblivion: the stem of any flower.
112 The Paris-American
Jennifer Militello is the author of Body Thesaurus (Tupelo Press, 2013), Flinch of Song, winner of the Tupelo Press First Book Award, and the chapbook Anchor Chain, Open Sail. Her work has appeared in American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, The New Republic, The Paris Review, and Best New Poets 2008.
Next week's poet:
Darrel Alejandro Holnes