someday i’ll love claire schwartz

claire schwartz

after Ocean Vuong / after Roger Reeves / after Frank O’Hara

claire, close your eyes. try to see. every woman

you’ve ever loved has been inlaid with scales

& ash. here are the matches. gather some tinder. strike

your teeth until they spark. you can still hear her name

on your tongue, clean as the sound the axe makes, then muffled

like the year between you is a closed door. listen closely. even you

can whittle your selves into something another can use

for heat. claire, be brave. your people will be back

with their stamping & their songs. they will build you

a birthright, then tell you to hold it with all your limbs & veins.

look for the blood beneath the story. when they say land,

reply: history. to tribe: history. to song: behold this symphony

of synapses. every day goes right enough to pin this animal body

to earth a little longer. remember the cat who brought you exquisite gift

of corpse after corpse. you should be so lovely.

one day you will lay down this body & walk off

into the night with only the wind whistling

your human name & a mouthful of language

seeking a mouth

about the author