Nathan Blake

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QUESTIONS I AM PATIENTLY REMINDING THE SKY (DO YOU HEAR ME?)

How much snow is needed to kill one horse.
How many horses conspire to kill one man.
I begin with math sharp & small as grass,
knives my mother let me roll in, & soon you
take this cloudbank from that one & it won’t
matter what you get, the sky still thinks you’re
dead. Galileo was the first to ask Whose brain
is bigger, ours or the sun’s, what side of the room
& who stands where, but what I want to know is how
long will it take for the stars to spell my name right,
which cosmic cheek needs pocking, if this moon,
when you chew it, has sunlight brined into its crust.
Is the same eye I see through the same seeing back.
Watch me twirl, then, this dowry of meat—or not.
Either I’ve been confused for one of the other
hundred million million motes dancing on a quark’s
head, the knee of that quark, the scar on the knee
beneath the skin called Time, or I’m overlooked
& half price like a nebula full-up of bad bulbs,
blinking out some lightyeared code meaning
Here we are, cosmos, it’s us again, nobody,
to which I add Who do you think you aren’t, pal,
what’s an echo like you saying in a vacuum like
me, where do our minds go to lose themselves,
will we care, will we care to care, how will we know.
So pick a promise between now & then & we’ll
restep the Big Bang’s contrailing regime, we’ll kill
a few days, split all the dust between our craggy
fingernails, & after millennia of stop & go hand-traffic
you & I, infinitely dense, baryonic at last, can lay down
my coat & swim to the query I hear your hips suggest.
Now ask me why we’re dealt nine lives at conception.
I can teach you how we die eight times in the womb.

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