Wake at Don Kiyote Books & Ephemera
for M. Carroll
It’s a night for skin walkers, I think, as we mourn
you in the only way we know how, sitting around
a used bookstore, theorizing grief. We deny that
anti-depressants plus prostate cancer make for an attic
hanging. But they do, you argue. They do.
Do your remember when I fell asleep during Kant?
You were the only one who knew that I had been
at the hot springs just out of town last night, watching
teenagers make out, wishing I could disappear into the desert,
into that which could only be the Sublime. You became
a shadow of yourself—Vega said your aura was green—
I thought maybe she wasn’t making it up this time—
you were already going, deconstructing your kidneys,
your prostate, until all that was left was your skin,
translucent around your temples, veins diverting
blood away from the heart. But the skin is replaceable.
Though at what price, ask the Navajo. What are you going
to give for a dark resurrection, comical on any other day?
Except I dreamt you last night, riding your bike to class
with one pant leg up—black sweats, wool beanie. But you
never arrived—rode the same streets, waited for the same light.
What can it hurt, to come back as a coyote hunched
on the university bell tower, and lick the bell’s tongue?
What can it hurt to test the strength of the cornmeal
that circles our beds, keeping you at bay? What will you give,
Sweet Atheist, now that your soul is safely erased from the equation?
Dominika Wrozynski is Assistant Professor of English at Manhattan College in New York City. Her latest poems have appeared in publications such as Crab Orchard Review, Slipstream, The Spoon River Poetry Review, Saw Palm, Rattle, Birmingham Poetry Review, and are forthcoming in Five Points.