Ill (advised)

by | Issue #3, Issues

Everywhere I go I court
the ambiguous
amphibian atmosphere—
the momentum of nostalgia—
I remain unsteady—dizzy
           from the breath of beauty,

only incidentally free,
marooned, unraveling.
I no longer see your Adriatic face,
immodestly proud and fearful,
           traveling crow-somber,

though you haven’t disappeared entirely.
I loved your unyielding certainty,
in the face of my uncertainty,
even if what kept not happening
or what never happened
           is past, slipping away

in the great unwelding years
of learning in lead-lined sea-deep bed.
The dead do not dead-end on my say-so.
In the light of reason I plan and plan—
I rummage in the archive of your memories—
No fact falsified,
           facts remain as scars failsafed

by ivory splinters of time,
every breath a desecration
of your many-chambered lung
while the new century’s veins, ant-farming
in the dark soil beneath your breast,
           light-denied, finally burst the skin.

Consider: I will construct my memoir
only when my life is over.
I don’t care if I face detention or arrest,
I don’t care if you don’t remember—
           I sell your bones to the highest bidder.

Jeremy Freedman lives in in New York City, where he writes poems and makes art. He doesn’t own pets or plants. More work can be seen at and on Instagram @jfreenyc.