The cadaver dogs downstairs
are barking. As though making a sound
will fix anything—any of this—I tell me, reflected in glass—
Curdling a self into an imagined
resuscitation of some politics
is a joke not worth telling for no one to laugh at.
Enter cadaver dog.
Outside, the magnolias bloom
their white petals pristine
cups, like surgical masks
squeezed together or
strewn on the sidewalks to be trampled.
For entertainment, I imagine myself
a similar smooth surface but boundless,
all this room for my breath,
unhitched, full blossomed
and so close to a silence
exacting a ceaseless, deliberate
normalcy – seamless
sea of …
what if I come
Against my stupid nature
or toward it, I cling to a fiction
of sightlines, a through—a plodding, trundling
toward, wherever I imagine it goes.
Mechanisms for through it
Now if I paint a picture, I want to be derivative.
To eke joy out of some other
successes just to feel
I never hurt no one or nothing because
I never made anything up.
My disappointment and satisfaction melt
together into diluted neutrals
and I’m left with a ghost of a taste
of either, of both
together they form some new…
normal. And I’m not here for this, except
I’m only ever here.
If I could balk, I would. I’d bark.
I’d stuff it into my scream.
There’s too much to see
Flattening, on the other side of …
if I hold my breath, I can see for miles and miles.
Jerika Marchan is a poet in New Orleans.