Friday, August 26, 2016

Daily Dose


My hand let pain see.
My hand was a head
for an eye of red.
Pain saw a nail.
Then the other hand,
and my chest slit with gills
for the new thing
taking over.
I vacated the mind’s lot
of my own accord.
Weeds I expected—worms, moles—
but nothing like this—
the soil curdled into an ocean,
a flatfish eating a bottom
that’s always eroding.
It stirs. I bleed. A lesson:
Pain is just panic sitting still for a moment.
As my blood pours
it moves the air.
I feel all of you pulled behind it,
down my legs
to the brown ground.
Test your cells, hold them tight
in machines forever.
The white ones are saints,
the red ones people.
I want you to know
I once had friends,
that I served them uncontrollably,
sometimes full of contempt—and that was grace.

-- Max Ritvo, whose death, at 25 was announced today.

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