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  • Nathan Weakley

Two Poems

I hope you like these.

“Catacombs (at Monroe)”

there’s a thin,

nearly invisible seam

at the place where

life splits in two

I know you’ve been tired

for some time now;

seasick on sunny days,

mouth smeared with honey–

you’ve come to

mistrust all beauty, 

even your own

you’re soon to pass

into the cool dark 

below– the subways, 

the catacombs, the stones

formed in solitude

it'll be alright,

I promise

but for the first few years

you’ll have to crouch,

and your bones 

will ache, cramped

as they are,

but that'll pass

you’ll forget your face–

smeared with the dregs 

of your former hopes,

the still-burning embers

of a thousand stricken

vagrants’ buried hearths

the cold, muggy air

will harden your

blanched-white skin

and strip you of

your old pliancy

you’ll touch 

with blind fingertips

The broken ruins of 

stone-dead wonders

you’ll dance wildly

for nobody, and

drag your pen through

the black firmament

like a knife through water

but every once in a while,

a lone searchlight will 

appear and find you a 

beautiful child-soldier,

kissed still by the sun’s

undying grace

every once in a while,

you’ll find something

that is yours 

and yours only,

and life’s honest nature

will pierce your heart

one more time

“Untitled #6

today I saw you

out walking the street;

quickly, as always,

with rhythmic strides

and a nervous look

I hate to say it,

but that’s all I

have left of you

there used to be more–

spots of black 

in your irises, little

gestures, the sweet 

oddities in your speech

aspects that once

comprised a being

irreducible to aspect

my mind’s been emptied;

I was so awfully passive

as to let time

steal you from me

your laugh, your warmth,

the scattered anecdotes

of a life lived in 

the presence of others

the smell of your skin,

perfumed, but still yours 

only, your hair on your

shoulders, on mine–

on lonely nights, 

I held your beating heart

in my hands

we spent them together,

hours of our lives

wasted away in gentle

earth-swallowing pleasure

and you, burning

silksugar spirit,

fingertips trembling,

more buried within you

than I ever could have


shared obscurities, intimacies–

I held the string between

my teeth while you tied–

your toes resting lightly

on mine– the refracted glow

that spreads in waves 

over sun-stained eyes

radiator warmth, something 

in the air reminds me–

I think– names 

half-remembered, scents

still lingering–

something from childhood?

dreams cinched off in threes

the fever upon waking, 

my arms empty, wanting

vaguely, for a moment–

The rest floods in,

taking your place–

and I’ve lost it

today, I saw you

walking the street;

that’s all I have left of you

now, the rest is gone


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