Against Nepenthe

Henri Michaux, Mescaline Drawing, 1960.


The landlady brought news
of your death

just as I was on the ledgers
of a great discovery,

on the edge of the New World’s
old treasures.

We would have been neighbors.
Me: um pequeno ponto no mundo

In the world without a world.
You: the reluctant shepherd

of false starts and lost stars.
You: to grasp the reins of chromium horses

through intergalactic charterbelts,
To map the course of factory smoke

in blue ink nephograms.
Me: to undead the living,

To grasp with the mind’s eye
that last image of you in a doorway.


First published in The Dudley Review.