Poetry: Chris Muravez
The Art of Dying
We are all walking around,
smelling like apocalypse—
a fleshy earth musk
not unlike summer squash.
I’ve been accused of being
a nature poet, a religious poet,
but I know nothing of nature
New York City is already underwater,
the Brooklyn Bridge washed away.
I’m not sad that I never got to visit.
During the time of earth’s unmasking
two blind girls stood side by side
in a rooftop garden of pine trees
holding my heart, the one beating
empty air and spurts of blood.
The pines are speaking again,
as I wrap myself in a vantablack blanket.
Squirrels, jays, chickadees, bears.
They bring me the night, bring me bugs
that crawl toward the darkness of my scream.
I’d cast a spell to bring us peace,
but I’m filled with nitrogen,
my meat is marbled with toxic foreign fat,
and I’ve lost my wormwood.
The pines release a sticky scream
and my fly friends get trapped in the runoff.
Ambered into history, bronzed bug bodies.
Sometimes I Love god
I have removed all offending limbs
& still find my thoughts drifting toward
a poem no one wants to hear.
A poem half-way up the object-oriented anus,
a foolish text, a grand literature,
and sometimes I love god for this.
Sometimes I love god because the past comes
in flash images, striking the cortex,
making me nauseous and sticky.
Marbles, asphalt, tree branches
beating against my bedroom window.
Sweat stains on my father’s white shirt.
Mowed lawns, the rotting smell of grass clippings.
A blurry list of names I have abandoned.
The charred remnants of the law
that everyone secretly misses.
Sometimes I love god because the past slingshots us,
the heart skipped grown up tongues of the world,
into another Rimbaud poem, a slave trade falsity.
Sometimes I love god because the body full of hell
caresses our inner thighs, reaching for the handle
hand hold, hand job, sex positive afternoon.
The body full then collapses into hell like a motherfucker.
Sometimes I love god because the microwave brains
of satan is a sweet sickness dripping through my beard.
Sometimes I love god because we who speak
of all god’s failings falling on us sound like
sanctum, sanatorium, sarcasm;
surrender to the sun, everyone.
Chris Muravez teaches and writes in the SF Bay Area. He earned his MFA from the University of Notre Dame, and his work has appeared in Deluge, Santa Clara Review, O-Dark-Thirty, Angel City Review, among others.