Two Poems By Jesse Nathan


The only place I have been

is here, nowhere,

a series of letters that dream

of correspondence,

the ghost mailbox. I loved

those terrifying wind chimes

just before a summer storm.

I’m hidden for years

mumbling que te vaya bien in a city.

My permanent address?

The warm dent in the pillow

where your head rests.

The storm cuts to poorly-lit

skirmish scenes, twitching

strobe, rolls its boulders,

a cannonade over ticking

oil jacks, miles of grain—

and what part of me

is me?—

meaning I guess

I carry the carol of death,

an heirloom in a chest.



Sometimes I go there

Sometimes there I am riding a lightness

Other times

In the wide sea

It has vanished

Until it returns

Light as a rest note

To sometimes drop water on people

On dogs and baseball games

So roses flourish

And weeds and mosquitoes

And fills the creekbeds

And shaped like anything

It is a most unreal castle

I have never really been

But I do dream

Sometimes in the early mornings

When I’m half-awake

Of the impossible


Jesse Nathan lives in San Francisco. Cloud 9 is his latest chapbook.