Nate Pritts


There was the time that wooden chair had
a banana peel on it, bright yellow & shining.

There was the time there was no wooden chair
nor banana peel, or the wooden thing was me

& there was something shining or not
shining at all.  Sailboats drift in a harbor

or in other wet environments.  Also no sailboats,
not drifting.  Fifteen different kisses you remember.

Three different people & the long division.  Kissing
things, things kissing.  There was the moon.

There was a new moon & there was no moon.
I was dressed like the leading man in a romantic comedy

from the 1940s, debonair in grey flannel. A flower
in my hand or a flower in my hand held out to you.

I was dressed like the leading man in a Romantic poem
from the 1840s, soaking wet in ruffles.  O I fall

upon the thorns of life several times per season
but most often in the Spring.  It could have been any day

in the whole wonderfull yeare.  There was
the time I said something profoundly affecting

in emotional & intellectual ways.  I had blue eyes
when I said what I said.  I know because you

told me.  I wanted to say the sky was the sky
whether there were birds cluttering it or not.



This is my newest construction
foisted off on you—
this blank bluster chock full of noise

while you sit so prim
& so proper at the table in the corner.

Flipping pages in your book
while I’m just me sipping coffee.
I wish I knew a better way to start,

or if it would be better to sleep
for a century or two.  At least until

new dinosaurs, at least through the symphony.
Wake me for act three
when the continents are drowning

& I’ll yell out a question:
Has the world fallen to the tides?

There is so much that we’re ready
to leave or be done with:
we’re leaving the table

because we’re done with our dinner.
The woman next to me

smells like summer. I feel
too much the trump up my sleeve
jammed next to my heart.  I can always leave.



Despite any beauty
_____of the composed scene

the two of us standing together
in the aura of each other’s particles
on an actual pier with the calm occurrence of water
in proximity

______something is not / exact enough
for the elements to provide

________You cannot fight against the truth
of what has happened.
_________________You cannot expect metaphor
___________________________to comfort you
or hypothetical constructs
_____________________to help you see
your way to a better / soothing reality.

To create a memory worth saving / the intention of
______is not possible if that intrinsic pain of loss
___________weren’t at one early point a glimmer on our own real skin.

We cannot be safe with our love nor avoid the difficulty of living.

All we note here
______is the dumb & empty attempt to control
________________those sensual fragments

willing them into something lasting
______to supplant all / impermanence

these things happening & then lost outside our immediate sphere.

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