Dear Lady of Perpetual Something by Nick Flynn
Just now I thought something about
about your body, how it goes on
& on, unspooling. Dear Something
Dear Nothing, if
(one day) I write about painting myself
into a corner—I have lived so much
with you not being here—I might
find myself, in fact, painted into
. . .
Behind my eyes a lake of fire
Behind your head a birdless sky
Here is the wine, here are the christened
Illinoise snowfall, wires that glisten
My blindfold? My curtain? My darkness? Your wings?
The song in my head is Burn Down the Mission.
. . .
Dear Lady of Something Dear Lady
look up—that airplane, my body in-
side it, your Nashville
below—a thousand gems, a thousand
gilded with spit. Dear Lady
Dear Sailor, is that your body, lying in that
field, moaning softly
the field constructed entirely of
words? Look up, wave
your broken fingers, take off your boots
—lucky you, held at last
. . .
Once upon a time, when you were being born
a doctor stuck her fingers
up your mother’s ass—here box
here open here door—to guide your head
through . . . . Strange,
afterward no one tells you
no one says a thing about it. By the way,
the light beside the bed, imagine it
dimmed by a blue
scarf, imagine the field
bathed in sunlight, imagine shadows
Nick Flynn is happy to be virtually here—Dear Lady of Perpetual Something is from his tangible book of poems, The Captain Asks For a Show of Hands.