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(a-way) as i have / as i will- Ethan Richmond

April 20, 2022


(a-way) as i have / as i will
    after Gary in your Pocket

i have always known this but
i have discovered that
we are servants of cycles
nature is the cruelest thing one could ever witness
(ever feel) and yet as it smiles down
on us kneeling beneath its sword
we are aroused

why else do we watch our finger bleed when it’s cut?
staring (entranced, curious, attracted) even for just a moment
before sucking away (in, on) the red
and even then our instinct is to taste our pain
like a child comforted by a wet, heavy mouth
around their own thumb

boys                                                       (do they know better?)
jerking away from the earth
growing faster and stronger and filling with bigger (better now?)
until suddenly, death
an ephemeral ethereality
of shattering
where within seconds
life escapes and returns a lifetime of times
until return returns us to the beginning
youth so fresh a wound we don’t know what to do with it
but enter it
coming (desperately, clumsily, with haste)
as if it were
the very end:


why else do we make love in the dark?
do you know what kind of things (have happened) can happen there?
where that creation (of destruction) can remain eclipsed?
what kind of violence
someone can get away with

Blackness the birther
of impunity
for only those who can enter it
and leave

i notice in the morning how light enters a shadow
disrupting its shape
undoing its form
redefining (its) matter
and pulls out, away (yes) and untouched
so bright, white and whole,
still     that you’re forced to look


a way, into the ark of a palm
not killed, gently
but spared, violently
wake reawakened
my breath eludes me
suffocation alluding me
closing will around the only part of a god that makes you wonder if he’s really just
a man

the way his tearing hands reach (tremble
helplessly) for something: anything to hold on to: anything to be swallowed by:
because in a way, his movements are a kind of language
rigid and syllabic and connecting, contacting
a rule that is praised for its own breaking as it breaks you
smaller, more digestible
cutting you by cutting you


and so in a way
our movements are
a kind of poem

killing as we are killed
ending faster than one begins
each line eaten to finitude, spliced
like a body
and returned to but already consumed
already dead in its meaning
its affect,
flattened and mourning
but breathless
(spelled out slowly, turned over and sifted with a tongue,
tasting, finally, of salt)
having done what it hoped to do
having pleased at any cost
pleading deep down that the cost
will be everything

i would have
killed myself for that god
that man
that boy
i would have leaned into the gun
kissed murder with an open mouth

i would have died as i have many times before
as i have in every lifetime
and as i will

                                                                           why else would he want me?

i have discovered that
i have always known this

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