Acquired Immunity
by Assiah Platt


Line cut by the indefatigable--

fog suffocating the city,

     a blue sound
sounding in the air,

seven stories high, the fall below,

     the thing existing

in the ground (composing, decomposing)

the cat looking down

on birds and is confused, traffic

     diverting, the woman returning from the cleaners,
from the market, from wherever, her heart

finishing the day in a tight death threat. This table, here,

this bowl of fruit, and the sirens outside--
and the people waiting dutifully at the curb:

     where did it go, immaculate

love, the slipping away from, the always less than,
     as though that flag, there, snapping above the streets

like a whip made space
in the city of death, this bed

empty, this bed soon to be, semi-

     private, private.

The something in the blood, between the vein-like
lines, the red and the white,

(how they alternate), the pure slicing of words at,

and the losing of stars in the blue field. Is it any wonder

faith suffers? (The father living

     just so long, live with it.) The flag

ends where the air begins, where the body ends up.

Is it falling
snow, or the slow

burn lunging to rest, returning to the ground, to wherever?

     O ashen fruit, O bloodlust.






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