The Posthumous Life of Childhood

Peter Gizzi

                            The sun

                                in the chest

                                like a spell,

                                like folly,

                                wept I

                                and when

                                soot turns

                                to gravel

                                in the mind,

                                revealing a bad

                                morning light,

                                then am I

                                a refinery flame,

                                a cylinder,

                                a payload

                                unto nigh.

                                I’m cold,

                                boundless.

                                A clinical

                                darkness

                                grips the voice.

                                The wind

                                drives snow,

                                the I remains

                                frozen,

                                lashed,

                                the ruins of

                                anything.

                                To be in time,

                                this theater feeling,

                                but I forgot

                                the line,

                                seized,

                                limited by

                                the hour,

                                I saw that

                                emptiness,

                                my body,

                                that inner star.

Peter Gizzi is the author of Now It’s Dark, Sky Burial: New and Selected Poems, and Archeophonics, a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award, among other collections.
Originally published:
September 1, 2022

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