You're close to me or I'm near
to you & it's morning then
night, so many fake dawns
& one thousand pretend dusks
blaring between yesterday & now.
Birds on thy body poised
for the flight, inherently free
but I'm blind to the fracture.
They're grounded & gorgeous
& colored with scars. One word
will change my life, this life I want
changed. I'm bringing you
some healing for the pain I didn't cause.
New sails for the ship, a trajectory
plotted, a course or a destination
& some devices for arresting
the panic. Your hair, four fingers long,
& I'm holding on to hold on. Today
we live in this hotel, we must keep
writing, we must keep living
without failing. I'll whisper
some sun as it builds outside us
& we'll wake quiet, fitted
for now. My heart is an engine
that is steadily dying.
I'm introducing you to the crowd with some glee
in my eye because the words I'm using are mine
& make you mine. Won't you be mine? Won't you
wake up with me, look at the sky & call it blue?
I spent the whole night overwhelmed by a dream
of a unified scene -- like the trees with their golden leaves
all linked to my soul, like some harp in its playing,
like the two of us together & taking over the world.
Your eyes so brown & buried in bed sheets, your
tears stifled because you didn't know what you wanted
until I said it. Every one of us is all of us & all of us
are wondering what to do next. Fill up this life. Fill up
this life & hold on. We're correcting even the things
that don't need to be corrected. We're making it better.
We're standing here hoping in all this blinding light.
Finally waking up the room. I'm reading your words
& the meaning penetrates me. My sight all speckled,
bright so I squint; crashing into each other
with some expectations but they're justified not wrongly
so it's O so positive. The shit is fucked up but we'll turn it
around around. I've got some new mistakes to make
with you. I'm the most unpredictable snake charmer,
I've got a tongue to help you discover the parts of your neck
you forgot. But we don't have to be a disaster or a sad time
together. We can heal & stop the bleeding.
Leveled off but still skyward still angled,
the days that I lived through with you collapse
into flashes. In the air, there are clouds
to remind us we're easily bruised or we're
drifting & permeable; things shoot right through us
like suffering does or like spring or a bird.
Memories of you are not you
& some idea of you is not you. Words often
kill us because it's blood that they're made of
& we're taking a stand & diminished each time.
I'm a little less me than I was. The poem
pretends to be me but it isn't right. In Syracuse,
I write poems to remember who I wasn't
but who I could have been: unhurt & singing
with a loud voice about joy. In Denver, the sun
rises behind buildings that block the mountains & you
don't know yourself. You don't understand
I don't need you to make me happy. I refuse
to believe all the wrongness around me.
I choose to keep trying to name my raging, to risk
myself in efforts misdirected or true. I have located
the heart. Let me show it to you.
Nate Pritts is the author of four full-length books of poems - most recently The Wonderfull Yeare (Cooper Dillon Books, 2010) & the forthcoming Big Bright Sun (BlazeVOX). He is the founder & principal editor of H_NGM_N & H_NGM_N BKS. Find him online at www.natepritts.com.