John A. Nieves Jefferson Watches His Tombstone Nowhere (Near His Grave)

And maybe separation needed to be river-wide plus
a half-continent yawn. Someone
kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkcast you watching
the memorial you made yourself miles from the husk
resting in your native soul. On a bench as if nothing
about your body were
kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkklever flesh. Sitting like standing
never knew your bones like ground never knew
your bones—only your pen. How you signed the purchase
like a river on the land, like the scree around the great
mountains out passed the horizon. You bought
and now you get it, between you and your commission,
between pillow and bed, between history and protest. On
a bench, your life
kkkkkkkkkkkkkflickers between myth and debate
like a moth between two too-close street lamps or
floor and breath of a face lost to syncope. This is
the displacement. This is how
kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkwe always remember: a text
in shifting context like the miles between home
and here. I once saw a homeless man sitting next
to you making coat-hanger stars
kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkto sell for food
or drink, using your lap to show us his sky.

Back to 53.1