A BOY TURNS THE KEY HIS OWN BREATH BURSTS

 


no longer safely squeezed and sealed in​​ 

a lockbox  ​​ ​​ ​​​​ the boy his red aegis​​ 

shuddering maledictions pistons​​ 

pumping my lungs open  ​​ ​​ ​​​​ my lungs his​​ 

ragged wings the boy  ​​ ​​ ​​​​ my own viral​​ 

 

mirror eating outward from my spine’s​​ 

fluid base  ​​ ​​ ​​​​ he’s rectifying me​​ 

into a vessel some empty space​​ 

to fill me in wings of textured air

 

 ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ and he has fine poisons  ​​ ​​ ​​​​ he’s whipping​​ 

my innards  ​​ ​​ ​​​​ unwinding his wet tail

 ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ my own face but finer  ​​ ​​ ​​​​ unlined boy​​ 

of deep song  ​​ ​​ ​​​​ when he wails and wanders

in red mist and sound  ​​ ​​ ​​​​ which slakes the hunt​​ 

 

against its own becoming now free

 ​​ ​​ ​​​​ flailing  ​​ ​​ ​​​​ in human impossible​​ 

structures you are full of definite​​ 

furies battening yourself down  ​​ ​​ ​​​​ I’m​​ 

 

thinner than the thin fears  ​​ ​​ ​​​​ your ship your​​ 

prison is my mind bright boy you bite​​ 

the middling delivery man I​​ 

am  ​​ ​​ ​​​​ your trembling bark you’re fit to fall​​ 

on me  ​​ ​​ ​​​​ small and hungry as the sea


Dan Rosenberg is the author of cadabra (Carnegie Mellon University Press) and The Crushing Organ (Dream Horse Press), which won the American Poetry Journal Book Prize. He has also written two chapbooks, A Thread of Hands (Tilt Press) and Thigh’s Hollow (Omnidawn), which won the Omnidawn Poetry Chapbook Contest, and he co-translated Miklavž Komelj’s Hippodrome (Zephyr Press). Rosenberg’s poems have appeared recently in PloughsharesColorado ReviewNorth American Review, and Alaska Quarterly Review. He teaches literature and creative writing at Wells College in Aurora, NY.