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Dan Rosenberg





This is the end result

of someone else’s party.

The socks can’t tell

which side is outside

and my shirt is a hole

in light. Some things are known

only by their limits,

some can’t be stared into

or out of. The slick heart

of the sun. The sun’s

turbulent heart.

In the party of our system

I’m eccentric on the outskirts

and declassified, a limit

repeatedly breached.

I swing close to what

I want to see, say hey,

I touch an arm and the arm

doesn’t jiggle. It’s

a banister. My voice

fits into the dance beat

like a name

on a grain of rice.

Fits so well not even I

can hear it, or taste.



I name every lobster

I see. I’ve eaten

a crab from its own skull.

I’ve nursed a bunny

into a slower death

and drowned a spider

too thick to catch

or crush. Some things

are just too messy

to end in the usual ways.

I hold a snow globe

of New York to a toddler:

She strikes like a snake.

She strikes like a match.

The snake’s head is a flame.

If I don’t name you

you don’t stay alive.



The heavens are bleached out

with streetlights and we all feel

larger. I step up

to a blasted tree still

circulating its sap in open air.

The ants have begun

their reclamation work.

The trunk extends

its insides like a fan

of cardboard. The tree’s

slices of heart reflect

my own hand’s heat;

what I’m feeling out

is my own pulse, translated.

I don’t speak this capillary

language, like guts wanting

to wrap themselves in skin.

I’m just here to note.

I note the microburst

stepped down from above

our false upper limit

and swiped my street in lashes.

I note myself crawling

into and under the opened pines.

These pits once held roots.

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