Zero Readers

The Stress of Poverty Lowers the Capacity to Learn

Brandon North

I’m climbing out of this secret.
At the benefactress soiree,
I tuck a ladder inside my ear to remind myself
no personality lives beyond the person.
Often they die long before the bodies.
I don’t explicate myself as a mere body
the way publicly funded aphorists do.
Class ciphers are always in the alibis:
I cast a ballot for the hangman,
my parents were cheery engineers, etc.
Howling at us, the nightingales
nest beside the erratic tick of this clocktower,
this hip venue where the birds seethe for quiet.
Every judgment relies on evidentiary simulacra
and my eyes are quiet as a painting of my eyes.
Their brown is a brown of an unsold past.