Jake Syersak
From The Wilderness in Which the “I” Cannot Exist

& then o then Cricket-Skull, pinched like the hourglass

you are, of sun’s lemon-

meringue, you learned quickly as I did how to escape like light

into balled-up saran wrap, how to either collapse

or compost into

crystal & cysts or to do as “lighght” does: slowly coalesce into sense.

when I was 6 I was shown a handful of

snapdragon pods (whose petals, when dehydrated &

scoured of pink, resemble tulle-familiar

skulls, screaming the laundry of their affinity with the faux)

& Cricket-Skull, I was scared

not to have known but

to know to know the world could die. but then--

then I took a breath, from worm

upwards, into something which felt like cirrus, mysterious,

& took safety in what room the word garden

had reserved, between noun & verb: that, too,

is the pinch, Cricket-Skull,

that defines you & lets me fit “I” in you & “you”

comfortably into I. & now--

now the hole in the ozone is talking

you out of your sleep induced by those clouds &

now those clouds want their nothing back

& you’re unsure what that means

but you’re sure it’s no good omen. you feel it

as intestinally as you can though you hardly understand

your own organs anymore, let alone those

of the sky’s. & when you wrote: profit’s best impression

of a garden was a Whole

Foods, all that made me want to do was

wrap myself in pineapple-leather like the diva I am

& cry for hours, because, god, sometimes it seems

as though we can’t even

accomplish failure in our lyrics

until it’s willing to wear us through the everyday