When the sky makes this transaction

stars are bewildered, as always, by the blue

sparks of their own faces in deep ocean trenches.

Counter-illumination allows fish to change glow

depending on the penetration of sunlight or moonlight,

but pure bioluminescence swells out of heart valves,

out of flutter. My first grief’s hidden from sun;

I’m the lantern unaware that the sorrow

growing like night around my father’s death

is laced with gunpowder. Then the vulgar transfer,

an earthquake: another grief to disassemble the first,

a new machine that replaces father’s absence

with lover’s exit. Mornings wet with dismissal,

the heart’s rug burn, my colossal failure to exhale

enough light. Energy must transmit, happiness

needs allocation. It makes as little sense as the story

of Christ on the cross: a man perpetually dying for the sins

of every human. The exchange is born from acid fear.

But here we are, all the broken-hearted blunderers building

ugly metaphors, craving shelter inside a mirrored dome.

 

 

 

Alexis Orgera
is the author of two books of poetry—How Like Foreign Objects and Dust Jacketthree chapbooks, and a forthcoming full-length collaboration with the poet Abraham Smith. Her poems, essays, interviews, and reviews can be found in Another Chicago Magazine, Denver Quarterly, DIAGRAM, Drunken Boat, Everyday Genius, Forklift Ohio, Green Mountains Review, Gulf Coast, The Journal, jubilat, Memorious, Powder Keg, Prairie Schooner, The Rumpus, Typo, and elsewhere. She can be found online at alexisorgera.com
Filed under: Poetry

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