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Nerites

by Chester Sellars

 

I have ruined, and been ruined by, many, many

I have and we have been skewered for and by desires, our own and one another’s

I have been had and have had desires and pains mingled, been both party and privy

To my own self-destruction, throwing blows he and he and he never intended

 

and I have thrown blows back, trust, both knowing and not

Both loving and not.

 

Seasons make little sense, make little trysts, make big times seem small—

bearable.

 

The state of a heart, ruined and not, knotted and what

I could tell you, in time, in time, in time.

I could tell all of you, but—

time.

 

It is the nature of the thing, itself,

that my words twist and reach, break surface and crash,

Zeno-esque, their goal never met, or, perhaps, never known.

The layers, pulled away from one another—

lips reveal teeth, reveal lips, reveal teeth, reveal—

amount to just more of the same, which is, I fear,

Nothing.

I fear, I fear, I—

 

Is it winter or spring or does it matter at all?

No. Of course it doesn’t.

 

Oh! Desire, lay still, be dead.

Tomorrows will never fulfill,

you or I or anyone.

Lay still, still—

there is more to come, though, what it amounts to is…

 

A letter, of color or character or…

A letter, sure, branded or sent, to you or I, or desire itself—

all skewered, all still, lay still, still, still, please,

Just… Still a word, or phrase, can’t rise above the sea, can’t crest beyond itself

Be more than just a word or phrase, be meant or, in time, resented.

My tongue, my hands, my body, detached all from me, I pray, but know better, still,

writhing.

Oh, desire.

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