When I say Justin barked

   how did I see him then

I mean I lived in a small town

   did he see me then okay so now

With men standing at water’s edge, looking

   I was eager yes original at least

We practiced in wild grass, a park the shape of a kidney

   hands like coffers to be filled at the suggestion of rain

Justin barked at being forsaken by his Dad’s name though without the words

   what does memory look like to him unless it is lost which is possible

A stand-in for what I could imagine

   living always within reach of the doppler effect

Everything for me being sexual, Justin thrilling at the annual emergence of fireflies

   I can imagine smelling sun-scorched bergamot just by words

When I say Justin I mean what could have barked

   shirtless men that hacked at shingling at mezzogiorno

The German Shepherd on Mohawk that ate the mailman in my memory

   to be frozen inside unthawable thought

Sits in the same room as those I watched myself sit in

   to be wresting at rest rending and mending and resting at wrest

The pallor of a specific life, my life, pales in similarity to its absence which does not frighten

   every edge of this place

Longing for the days of within-reach-Justin relative to its size

   in pursuit of perfect dandelions which are weeds

Scoop bulbs of opportunity, I tell myself, and do not cry when slicing

   each revolution on its face I let go there it goes so it happens nothing is when I let it go

Coming back around, I return to circle wagons and please, with peace and ease

   everywhere I am think of yourself the same

Nick works as a wine merchant in Brooklyn. Previous work has appeared or is forthcoming in Blazing Stadium, Sylvia, The Babel Tower Notice Board, Recliner, Landfill (Ursus Americanus Press), Disgorgeouszine, & Pipette. He lives with his twin brother, Will.