Inflorescence by Jay Deshpande


INFLORESCENCE

I don’t know what’s happening in the north woods
but passion its black fruit you pluck and crawl inside,
feeling in its clutch the power one day meant
to sing and flower inside of your face
like a klaxon. At any rate, I didn’t ring it.
Have you ever felt so close to someone you reached
for the place where your thumb would press
to peel back their skin? Around the table
moralities gather. I’ll stay here, thank you
I am staying here thank you.
Among trees you never release yourself.
You just stay by the water, ghostly plea,
quick glance at the moss. It becomes slowly clear
you haven’t yet found anything you like.
Other things becoming clear. All day
you walk ten feet in front of you
and the human brain is only a conversation.
The human brain is only a conversation
try something different for a change. Someone’s cold lungs
are speaking to me directly now. Somebody’s feet gather
on top of one another to form a sudden cliff.
Every firstborn child named precipice.
I say crawl inside you, and crawl inside you.

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Jay Deshpande’s poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Washington Square, La Petite Zine, Narrative, Handsome, Shampoo, death hums, and elsewhere. He is the former poetry editor of AGNI and he curates the Metro Rhythm Reading Series in Williamsburg (metrorhythm.wordpress.com).