Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Thirty-three
Winter 2013
The Difficulty of Speaking a Matter of Remembering
Andrew Ruzkowski

I was no more than vodka and sleep,
it was March and still winter.
                                                       You, still a thing
but no longer skin.
No longer air in lung.
No longer brachiated and colored red,

the length of a continent,
the shape of a flat clover, a field soaked pollen.

I used to chew your dermis, layering and oiled.

It is through some heroics in coastal Mexico
you became a line half-formed and running
toward water, a sheet white and vanishing.

I once asked you:
                                            What does it mean
                                            to be someone,
                                            an unknown stretch,
                                            a span reaching toward a thing?

Did we ever touch one another in the tall grass?
Was it my hand or yours that bled in deep puddles?

Could I have been the bullet domed and wandering?
Could I have been your crushed rib and heart chugging toward cement?

You returned an empty room, a contained thing.
You returned more beautiful than a dressed kill.

You said the world is disappointing.
I said the world is a changeling.

I want to be the tree you fell from at 13.
                                            Was it a honey locust?
                                            A bald cypress?

I want to be your cleanly broken radius.
I want to be your aorta draining the Yucatán.
I want to be compressing, the ghost beside the body.

About Andrew Ruzkowski

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