★ ★ ★ ★


As You Weren’t

You want light
in your hand
but it won’t sit still
long enough
chill as that eye
strangers put on you
in the dead of night
one foot in front of the other
but spotty space
leans in and cripples
the walkway
tethered around dipping sun
those necklaces of youth
staining, stinging
every muscle of your body
struggling to define
a way out-in-through
that won’t break you

The Miles Between Us

How it came to this
Beth says
I went through windows
and fog sat itself empty
in the treasure chest
of all the years gone by
& I found the residue
of charcoal / the lungs’ black night
retching air, parcels pieced together
pierced, shrieking (weren’t we real!)
tree limbs aching
as do all of us
who reach beyond ourselves
for sky
& beyond sky for the tether bone
of hearts’ poorest muscle
oleander never knew its home
the way the scattered call out
we are almost… never there
nearly yet—
but one day…

we will love/know ourselves better
then we do now

A Terrible Thing To Say About A Life

House won’t hold
weight so thick
its inner thin
aches out
and each day
you are reminded
of the mess
on the floor
of your brain
how it won’t shut off
and how you can hear
highway wrecks at night
on the inside of your heart
where no one survived
but you come rushing out
open arms full of saving the day
then turned blackest dawn over this sad
ever disappearing wound that you’ve become

James Diaz is founding editor of the literary arts and music journal Anti-Heroin Chic ( heroinchic.weebly.com). His work has appeared in HIV Here & Now, Ditch, Chronogram, Foliate Oak, and Cheap Pop Lit. He lives in New York.