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1 poem
Day Heisinger-Nixon

Day Heisinger-Nixon is a poet, interpreter, and literary translator. Their work has been published in or is forthcoming from Apogee, Boston Review, Foglifter, and elsewhere. They are currently based in Arles, in the South of France, and can be found online at and @__day_lily__. 

Aubade [                  ]

I don’t know know when the animal

in me will get any softer

but the sky is opening up &

July is in my eyes & anyway,

how has anyone ever experienced 

anything that wasn’t cold, wet, yearning? 

Sappho loses her words 

& Carson puts her in brackets. 

I [          ] you, I say for nine years, 

but it’s never meant the same thing—

each year a new pearl on a string, 

each a different iridescent color 

than the one preceding or succeeding it.


We sit in the sand & you catch 

all of July on your skin & I read poetry—

some good, some bad—

& put sunscreen everywhere 

except for the strip of lower back 

exposed by my crop top & then I have

a tramp stamp of sunburn & then I have

a small clean white square

on my skin where my swimsuit tag sat 

& the seagulls do their weird little yawn—

the one where they look 

like they’re going to disassemble 

& four primate species 

that are not us have just entered 

into their own Stone Age. 

They use sticks & rocks & thorns 

to instrumentalize & click open 

their waning primate segment of the world

& they want to look pretty.


The primates want to look pretty 

like how I want to look 

pretty & thus stick flowers in their ears—

hibiscus & honeysuckle into their sweet ears. 

& they probably fall in love & break 

each others’ hearts & put each other in brackets. 

I [           ] you, the bonobos say to each other, 

but, here, the word occulted by the brackets is fuck.

I fuck you the bonobos say, pansexually hedging 

their bets & orgiastically resolving their conflicts. 


I can tell you that I want to write an aubade

or an ode to the robin’s egg 

that once mysteriously showed up on my windowsill, 

no nest or robin in sight, 

but I have the internet & a propensity 

toward hyperfixation,

& am therefore replete with facts about this 

sad, primarily salt-forward world. 

Time is gnawed on like the Christmas stockings

that my great grandmother once knit 

& that my mother now knits 

& I scroll down through my screen—

silly mothball to deter the creeping of Chronos.

I settle my body cleanly into 

the tiny wet cave of time & am consumed 

by its slow digestion.


History, the moth, consumes me

& all of my wooly belovèds

every single day as we worry

about whether or not 

we should grow out our hair or shave it all off. 

We can argue about this all you want, 

but a shaved head, is, in fact, not gender,

though, sometimes, it is & everyone’s head is shaped

strangely so just fucking do it if you’re going to 

do it. Just be the fruit you wish to see in the world, 

the strawberry baby, dressed in your 

Victorian streetwear, pleated bib

& platform Crocs.


I can go on like this forever, accumulating 

everything that makes me

love you & everyone else. 

I’m manic with love for this world,

in brackets for this world. 

I could cry at the buses passing me by. 

I could say I [            ] you, buses, to the buses, 

&, here, the occulted word would not be fuck

no matter how much we laugh at the phrase

coger el autobús, caught geographically 

in the wrong place for that kind of diction. 

Let’s take a bus to the hot springs

& ignore that adorable, eternal well 

of acquired traumas. 

Let’s take a metro to the woods. 

The colors are in season

& everyone alive is still alive.

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