Beginner’s Astrology for Anarchist
Jurisdictions in a Pandemic
They are a nation without sense, there is no discernment in them.
The stars are further away. The flicker we see from them
been. The pin drops above the city are drones.
From my driveway in North, I see at least three
each night. I have to count them each night.
Most nights, they are accompanied by surveillance
planes. I watch military aircraft change shifts in the sky
above my house. I celebrated my first birthday
in quarantine & I don’t remember anything that happened.
The moon cycles around the militant specks
over the skyline. There have been riots blocks away.
Brutalists escalate dissent of brutality with brutalism.
The Mayor of Portland bans teargas after bombing
a neighborhood & wildfire smoke covers the metropolitan.
I just stopped checking the Air Quality Index every day.
The Mayor of Portland bans the use of teargas
& the Sheriffs & State officers refuse to help local police.
The local police wanted to take over the war crimes.
The smoke has cleared for now & we can see stars again.
I tattooed myself in The Star on my thigh. Upgraded my mask.
My Saturn is returning. At the end of every month, I have to see
which frequency this sadness is playing on. The hormone cocktail
tunes in its own sense. Is it the rain, drenching? Is it grief,
again? A shade of its own gift. This tender hit different.
The night says come hither, but the block stays viral.
I miss the streets but the armed & unmarked maneuver
malicious in plain sight. I understand the use of the North Star.
For a while, I could see her from my bed.
17 Days (Piano & a Microphone 1983)
The second time this Sunday—alone—Prince is invoked
during a chess match, I spectate dejected. The main drag:
the first timed he’s named, I pull The Lovers card
& my head is underwater, embarrassed. I wish
every song that played when I came home late meant something
special. Hear me counting the seventeens on my bicep,
on my thigh, on my décolletage. A wall separates us.
Two Hundred & Forty-three miles separate us. I worry
my mouth separates. I worry my heart demands suffocation
from the rain to feel filled. I hate my selfish breaths.
Is that my echo? Give me the straighter one.
I regret receiving any love personally. I still want everything,
now without resentment. Some people follow the Charts
religiously, but from an artistic standpoint,
mass metrics are murder. Can I offer a massage
in a non-flirtatious way? Who am I kidding? My favorite role
to play is my lover’s pain reliever. I am exposed by an angel
behind a wall & it means nothing. I am adored by a devil
two hundred & forty-three miles away. I almost forget
what it felt like to be fawned over. I forgot coffee can be made
for me in the morning. We fit in the same shoes & doorways.
I fit in the hand in the passenger seat. Proximity is a fetish—
I am no longer shy about it. A lust of brushed shoulders
or inexplicable distance. Attention is the aforementioned vice.
I’ve only quit drinking. I still need help finding the can opener
right in front of me. On the Red Planet, I’m a fried catfish
melting in the mouth of my imaginary lover.
Can you turn the lights down?
In this recurring dream, I wake in a loft far from here
with whoever now fills the role of the warm body
bound to mine. The lover changes with Venus’s retrograde.
I romance under her detriment. Turn the voice down.
Sisyphus Says Relax
For Princxss Tournament
My daughter asks how to pronounce deconstruction.
I teach her a dialect of weight.
How can I tell my children not everything hurts?
The truth is I have woken up many a morning
emptier than the night before & still heavy.
I’ll say my labor tumbles & decomposes
to the root & detritus that made me.
If this is the hill I am to die on,
at least it’ll be higher ground.
Nine Twenty-Nine Twenty-Twenty
the last thing I read before bed is the pandemic has one million confirmed kills.
& I know better than to believe that number & how am I to sleep? I ask, again,
to all the evil tucked tight in one-thousand-count-thread sheets & I want to burn
down Jeff Bezos’s estate for not delivering the toilet paper overnight as I asked
& they say a million people died because that’s how many they can quantify by the virus.
But gun sales have spiked & everyone is more clinically depressed
& the physiology of it all remains a secondhand horror story. What if
there are no death songs in this nation’s songbook? Inmates at Riker’s Island
have been preparing mass graves since March & the outbreaks in prison
are not a profitable news story. We lost a generation to prison.
We are losing a generation to screens. Surfaces were overestimated.
What’s contagious is airborne. All our ballots are diseased & filled with ideations.
My Face in a Jar by the Door
My nephew calls & tells me he wants me & his mother to heal.
My mercury sits in her sun & we sleep in the same time zone.
Aretha Franklin is Eleanor Rigby here, or “This Girl Is in Love with You,”
so I only listen to the chorus of lonely people. I tell my eldest daughter
she’s my heir. We been matrilineal & I tell her all the lines.
Everybody gotta listen to her. I finally teach myself smoke rings.
I’m tired of being asked to carry white flags. Wedding rice.
Don’t you see they are covered in blood? Categorical hazard
without warning. How other places know better about our air particulates.
I’m not alone in being scared, but it scares me who is & isn’t scared now.
The words: intersection, daily, litter, protest, & enough. Remember when a white man
almost ran me over to show me his BlackLivesMatter face mask.
I got solicited on the street by a city worker with a wife. He waits weeks to text
& again I’m expected to carry some tedious load. Never met a man who didn’t
make me feel like confessing. I don’t want my tombstone to say “y’all got me fucked up”
but it might.