A Was­sail in Ink

Ni­cholas Christian

Pulp Literature - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - Ni­cholas Christian

Ni­cholas Christian’s po­etry has ap­peared or is forth­com­ing in The Lin­den­wood Re­view, Off the Coast, Po­etry Quar­terly, Gravel, Da˘mfiˉno, and Panoply. He lives in St Louis with his stuffed sea lion Ger­ald and his coy­ote Loki that thinks it’s a cat. He stud­ies at the Univer­sity of Mis­souri-st Louis.

A Was­sail in Ink

And this is its be­gin­ning: a Viet­namese Ocean; the bot­tom rim stiff with starch grind­ing like rough glass against an old belt buckle, yes sweep­ing and mov­ing in rhythm through the dark of a stone spi­ral street.

And there the cav­a­lier waited, iron-red mouth brush­ing your waist and Avery Colt laughed into beer be­fore the night church of Kansas knew even spoiled honey is sweet in black stilet­tos un­der sconces of elec­tric tal­low.

Our ca­noe was carved for sink­ing, cer­tain your wet shoes re­mem­ber walk­ing into the dusk of gun-fire tast­ing the vanilla whorl of wa­ter lilies. And some braver­ies are old tears stranded and hun­gry on is­land sand, and words taken by the wind re­turn pos­ses­sions

in the rain, grown thick and res­o­nant as stretch­ing pel­i­cans — we’ve landed on Blue­beard’s birch ta­ble, sure in open­ing one more door the joys of hear­ing Rumi ask what have I ever lost by dy­ing? What choice but to sen­tence shin­ing with fat our piles of bones

to the burn­ing wood; now there is space for the ta­pes­try of your back to fit my hand — learn­ing lan­guage through the body set so close to the fu­ture there is only the dance of it. Which is all to say: these places are maps black from all this spilled ink

col­lect­ing in my cup full of lit­tle crows I’ve brought to your lips, mean­ing noth­ing more than we are seven words writ­ten when not look­ing.

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