Nikki Wallschlaeger
I’d Come Back from the Grave to Celebrate the End of Capitalism


A sweating flowerbed where my fantasies are thinning.

I’m a light sleeper, too many asters, taxonomies of sound.


I’d come in blue wide leg Jncos like I was meant to be.

Curious, maladaptive, suffused with unrationalized hope.


I’d listen and be with my people. No one is concerned with

honoring success because the concept of success is gone.


In the 90’s I knew a scene kid who dreamed about it on 

the regular. He had a reputation for coming to rave parties 


barefoot so she could be close to the rotating basslines

her body swan diving into the mothership of a 4/4 beat. 


Morning in the trip-hop lounge he told me how it was 

gonna go down in the end. We’d stumble blinking into 


day and the music would keep going without turntables,

drum machines, mixers. Overnight we would take power


as a stabilizing force of abundant sustainable possibility.

Heartbeat of the earth, muzzled by business as usual,


restored to their original health. It wouldn’t be like that

weird Dr. Bronner cult gazing at you taking a shower


where we’d be all-one, it’s cruel monotheistic trash,

beats got their own raw logic, nothing is standard,


but we would all be able to hear it. The start of an

old connection. An ability to bear music upholding


life on this planet. Dead from the last heart attack

of this world, I’m a black girl dozing with first shift


commuters on the route 15 bus and on weekends

a fire opal hard at worship in the temple of house.


It’s like when an opera singer bangs a high note

and a champagne flute breaks, they explained,


except it would be us crashing and breaking 

beating in real time. The elders have a saying


the beat goes on: my fracturing livelihoods

resurrected by the rhythms of the night.

Found In Volume 46, No. 04
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Nikki Wallschlaeger
About the Author

Nikki Wallschlaeger is the author of Crawlspace (Bloof Books, 2017), Houses (Horse Less Press, 2015), and I Hate Telling You How I Really Feel (graphic chapbook from Bloof Books, 2015). Her third collection, Waterbaby, and her next book, Hold Your Own, are both from Copper Canyon Press.