Because nostalgia…

William Archila
| poetry


Because nostalgia prefers melancholy, say distance. Because distance
is my nemesis, say conquest. Because I am a fable made flesh
& bone brimmed with dirt, say massacre. Because I want to repeat
how rain has broken my sleep & because I have no shelter I must
unearth a cave to bury my words. The volcano at the back of my head
craves nothing but to remain silent, uncover comfort in darkness.
Say my geography wallows in its own orbit, say its obituary
pumps my one-track heart, locked up in its workshop of habits.

But don’t say when I brave my nemesis blood rushes to my gut. My body
a riot, a threnody polemicized. My prefrontal cortex a lazy sloth, so claims
my therapist. Say an incomplete catalogue of things I love. Say all that.

Because I’m inside the light of evening & because mockingbirds assemble
in the brambles, say myth. Say blue pigment. Say black hole the aperture
of a camera on the day of my birth, or don’t say anything at all.

William Archila was awarded the 2023 Jack Hauser fellowship. He is the author of The Art of Exile and The Gravedigger’s Archaeology. His poems have appeared in Agni, American Poetry Review, Pleiades, Los Angeles Review, Prairie Schooner, and Poetry Magazine. He lives in Los Angeles, on Tongva land.

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