Two Poems

By Nathan Spoon

Sacrum convivium

as if a cloud and the bodied neurology of a starfish          were
combined as if the person walking toward us like          a friend
were a friend as if the Goddess of Anarchy rose          and drifted
never leaving her place because she held no place          as if that

eternal classic of a trope of looking for the flaw in          any sort
of awful logic were sufficient to instantly banish it          from this
collection of ours as if anarchy were feasible as if          anarchy
were infeasible as if tears could prevent bad people          from

scrunching their shoulder with glee while doing bad          things
while the sun shines on delicious leaves of grass as if          another
breath was all that is needed to round out our world          again
as if there is a courtyard beyond the window behind          our good

backs as if our lives mean nothing more than what they          seem
to mean as we strike the poses we hope will shimmer          eternally


The Susquehanna by Moonlight

All the lovers a single chain has joined together
—Guillaume Apollinaire

Tiny feathers
are drifting through air
shared by opposing reinforcements
cluttering heads. Before lowering your
platform helmet,

consider what your breath
and blood are doing out beyond the edge of
these woods. Consider how coyotes are calling
each to each
at acceptable distances

from where you are.
When it is night you will be sleeping
with your bedroom window open. In your dreams coyotes
will walk calmly past
your unlit window. In your dreams

you will feel their fur softly
inside the ventricles
of your soul. Their fur
will be a willow stick
shoved in earth merely to mark

a spot, until, to the surprise of all, that stick, sprig by
leaf by sprig by leaf, becomes
a mature willow. The leaves of your dreams will
droop and mingle
with the leaves

of ordinary grass.
These leaves will be
the living
eyes and ears
when you wake.

Nathan Spoon is an autistic poet with learning disabilities and “low academic fluency” whose poems have appeared in the publications Poetry, Mantis, Reflections (Yale Divinity School), Oxford Poetry, and elsewhere. His debut collection, Doomsday Bunker, was published in 2017. He is senior editor of X-Peri and a 2019 visiting poet to the Ruth Stone Foundation Reading Series.

Please follow our Commentary Guidelines when engaging in discussion on this site.