Jon Boisvert


You are feral in ways:
the thermostat at fifty-eight,
you live exclusively
in the warm spot, the attic,
no longer shaving
or putting trash in bags.

Peering through the oculus
rimmed with ice, you run
your thumb along the smooth
handle of your knife,
press down on the latch,
watch the blade fold out.

You roll a cigarette with one hand,
break weed stems into a muslin bag,
steep it in a glass jar of steaming water,
add sugar and vodka,
take a warm drink.

Fuck this, you say. Being poor
isn’t like being born, you think.
It isn’t an event.
Being poor is a landscape.
It’s the closest planet to the sun,
and it doesn’t rotate.

You sit crosslegged on the carpet,
shut your knife.
You snub the cigarette out,
reach for the ashtray on the floor,
then reconsider. You hold the butt up,
a specimen.

Looking past the dead cigarette,
a diamond-shaped mirror
long fallen to the floor
tilted and leaning back
is reflecting your face
in the ceiling and smoke.


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