If This Is the Age We End Discovery

Rosebud Ben-Oni

         — After Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s “Chess”

I’m never looking right when the first snow falls.

My view outside the window is broken by the fire escape.

Like most it looks rusted, painted over too many times.

This is how I must look inside.

In the hospital they have to use the smallest needles.

My veins are narrow, closed, won’t let them drink

And I’m punctured so many times, I pass out.

I’ve come to faint days before I know blood will be drawn.

Listening to her read her poems on SoundCloud

Calms me when I hear the sleet, the whipping

Of time petrified on sheetrock as I’m collapsing

Into vessels they can’t find yet

Again. She is the most beautiful woman in the world.

I'm envious of people who learn of her

For the first time. If there’s no more originality,

Only riff

And mutation, then that is the one thing

You’ll wish

You could do again. Do you too miss

The storms that snowed you in

And there was nothing you could do

But fear the end? Those days too

We think are gone. We shouldn’t.

If only I could say I slept. I’ve forgotten

Just when I wasn’t in hospital beds and never

Counting to ten, the nurses unknowing

The grace of it all

As they stroke my head: She’s gone out again.

If only I’d gone somewhere.

If only this was to board a ship

Under the grace of her night

Which brings to life

Those things on a flat world

Of black and white.

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