LINES ON THE WAY TO A MARCH
My sight breaks up; orange rivulets
drop down my eye; against my chest,
a pain thwacks and clocks.
I am holding a book. I am holding a book.
Passengers clutch cardboard signs, as if my ears
were blocked, as if they were trying to tell me
something that I cannot bear to hear. I read
their markered letters and make out
the shape of guns. In a boxed car,
against a rail, I am travelling underneath
a city; hands reach above my face, holding on
to a place that so many others have touched.
We are here together, I tell myself.
Inside my head, blood rapidly leaves
one room of my body for another,
as if leaving were a solution—
the body knows what to do until it does not,
then it is malfunction, said to be ill.
Even when we work against ourselves,
there is said to be logic. This might be the hysterical
mirage of rage. I am fainting and anonymous.
There is a rocking and a stop. There is a time
without rocking and for a time we will not stop.
Let out me. Let me out of myself.
Out of this debate. I have lead myself astray
and cannot think to think. I want to carry a gun
and I am furthest from a gun, like the pollen
conceived too early and in the nectar of useless
to say. Their Medieval hands. My gilded iris
makes it seem as though this is the day
of carnival and that there is an out beyond
where each of us arrives in a square park
over a hill, the length to take us having faded,
as if what we cannot feel we cannot know.
This is a fear that stays with us
because we are guilty. The dead are around us
briefly before they go.
Dan Kraines is a PhD candidate in queer studies and representations of loss. Time to write has been afforded to him by fellowships from New York University’s Center for Experimental Humanities, Boston University’s Program in Creative Writing, the University of Rochester, and the Betsy Writers Room in Miami. He teaches creative writing and film at the Fashion Institute of Technology.