Nick Narbutas
One Year After Seeing Orion Walk to the Island

Anchored to Earth, I imagine the rain is mosquito and dragon
fly reconciling the incorrect shades of our autumn. I get wet,

happy with what I expect as the rest of my life. It’s misleading,
shameful to witness the atom undressed. I’m a method of witness.

Stars in the bucket become silver galaxies. Gallons of water
pimpled with oddity. Matter forgets itself. Caught in the bindweed,

I can observe the slow leak in the sky unobstructed by progress.
Count up the antidotes, winter’s white stockpile. Reload the B.B.

guns and the teargas canisters. Riding the 1 a.m. Blue Line,
History painted in silver delivers the sermon of horsemen.

If I consent to the clementine onslaught, if I make mercy
over the wings of my horseflies, all of my particles may break.

This was the year to obliterate. I was electrified eyehooks,
threat of unfastening. You were no different, in fact you were sawdust

caught in the saw’s teeth. Matter forgets itself. Burning the bindweed,
I turn a photograph into an oil stain. Methods of witness

fail us. All of us wearing our anchors, newspapers stuffed in our eyelids,
we are the seers and we are the gaspers all caught in the bindweed.
Nick Narbutas was born in San Francisco and his poetry was born in Chicago. He now lives in New York, where he is working towards an MFA in poetry at Columbia University. His poems have appeared in MUZZLE Magazine, Dinosaur Bees, and Columbia Poetry Review.