by 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 dayheisingernixon.com 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
& 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.