after Lucie Brock-Broido
No tired queens.
No ghosts coming back to replay their shredded remnants of old failures.
No more wishing for death. No more answering death’s letters.
No thousand and second night.
No curse for the only President I ever truly loathed.
No breathing into the fire, no digging down into earth.
No merciful caress of the cat fatally wounded in the street last June.
No ear or voice.
No tough zippered stride, no declaration of independence.
No more searching my skin with my own palms, searching for rib-bones’ or hip-bones’ protrusions.
No horizontal desperation, no seeking the sun.
No flounce of my hair, that old gesture, every time I open my mouth to begin.
No making love in the evening light on the hotel balcony.
No poem to explain myself.
No promise. No more ghosting death. In the index of the planet’s history of god and literature and the human spirit I decline any entry.