Cocktail Recipe with Ghost Transmission
To stop mourning, cut the hair off your forearm & the eyes
from potatoes & plant them. Cut the condolence card’s heart
out & eat it. It works! Before the glass flew halfway across
the room, I felt her unlatch. By the time it hit the wall,
the deer in me lay down. Only the LCD screen moved.
Men will always build their big curves, subdivide the forest,
mow new pigments. I stack shells on top of rocks. Desire grows
elaborate terraces. The cairns fall while I sleep. The Twitter star’s
plane lands on time. Rib tips are on sale. A ghost
dismantles his glass house. Tired white people wash
each other & lie with their feet touching. Earlier,
that was a lie. Each night I will for the dream
where she says goodbye & floats off, beaming.
Something in me hoped to sink, too. It’s jealous.
Air isn't full or empty, it's just there
As that spring unhinged
its jaw, nobody
trusted thread anymore.
I can’t interpret
what you say in sleep
if you’re not here.
I know it’s probably sad &
frequently there are dogs
Maybe dusk’s a gift.
Little cherry-meat heart.
It’s still snowing up here
between my shoulder blades.
It’s cruel, isn’t it?
Red knot in the center
of us, frayed.
I know to keep
my enemies closest.
I wrap my arms tighter
Night’s a bottle cap screwed on,
off, on again. Thread
of metal. Thread of glass.
Sugar hardening between.
Fallow the chicory.
Fallow the hum
that slides us awake.
We’ve started to suspect the doctor
will never come.
All the Chicken We Haven't Eaten Yet
For too long, I thought we’d still get freckles
or self-assurance. Let’s all quit sports bars, galleries,
Penn Station, doing favors. Let’s watch snow
under streetlamps, argue about the color of the sky.
I don’t mean to go acute but there’s these fires
and locusts everywhere. Our clothes yellowed while time pedaled
both ways & I pursed my lips to get OK. Tell me I clean up
almost-nice. Sure, I’ve that habit of losing
sleep, proper nouns, hours. I smooth
my skirt. I’m not sorry my people
didn’t summer anywhere I learned
to capsize a sailboat. I’m not sorry for swimming
away from her. I pick at my nails. How do we who think
speaking’s useless listen better? The entirety
of the Tate I couldn’t stop thinking
about sandwiches. Looking forward
to the bday party but mostly to the snowstorm
because: silence. I keep remembering
faces I thought I’d drank enough
to erase. I pick the label off the bottle.
Time’s a construct. Fear’s
a construct. I keep forgetting this.
I keep waking up right before I hit the ground.
For years I was asked constantly to describe
my feelings & for the record I’m not
angry. Being able to name exactly what shade of awful
doesn’t fix it. I’m working with what I have, ok?
Tell me where your sutures are. Who you miss. Sure, I’ve never had
a paid sick day. But guys guys much of what
I have is you. We’ve got so much to cackle
over someday, circled around a table.
NINA PURO’s current work addresses rupture and queer precarity. It can be found in Guernica, H_ngm_n, and the PEN American Poetry Series, among others. A member of the Belladonna* Collaborative; author of two forthcoming chapbooks (Argos Books and dancing girl press); and recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and Syracuse University, Nina cries and works in Brooklyn.