Present Tense

March 5, 2018

i want to be alone in every direction. the way i stand,

eyes closed in the doorway, listening for the rain —            hesitantly;

i hinge my intellect to my hipbone, to my holy

gray, glacial body —       futureless;

a grave that no longer looks like a grave,

dreams that always end in death, but i am not bothered

by the parts i don’t understand — “the only thing weirder than being born

at all is dying.”


i am more careful now, soul-heavy, existentially

sour, interwoven, rather than compartmentalized —

(the things i tell myself to keep busy)

— i am in a strange part of the world. there’s one thing

that’s followed me here, something

to be had at the hull of my ghost — something to be had,

but not for long. i want you better. i want the winter

to win — “but who could love anyone more than the tree loves

the plum?"


it looks like something happened here — you have to capture it

before anyone notices. i try to write about home

but i end up building a new one, our highly-caffeinated plea

for still bodies — “i supposed all animals are ultimately unknowable. even

our parents.”


the salted streets call to the storm; it burrows deep,

like it loves me — (everything is always more serious

in the present tense) — i wish we could talk the way

we write — i wish we could write the way we flood the streets —     “memorize it.

it’ll become part of your body. literally as though you’ve eaten in, and now

you carry it around in all of your cells."

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© 2023 by MCLA Spires.