Bonjour Tristesse

Hello sadness.  Hello after
the explosions no
—-language could make us

whole.  We heel-
bound & bull-
horned.  Hacking
bags of dust.  Love,
what exhaustion we fall
into our separate silences with.  Split

mattress.  Drab
cloud of sperm spilled
—-in the reservoir tip.  & it

was evil in the sight of the Lord.  Look,
sometimes I want to run away
—-when it is finished.  To admit

the things I said I meant
mistakenly.  Take
it back, your bereft

present.  Post
coitum omne animal triste est.  Let us
—-make a name, lest

we be scattered.  We saddest
mammals.  Milk-
—-swallower.  God-

less link to thistle.  Think
how often we promised
the future & produced

only fluid.  Have flung
our bodies against each other & come
apart palsied

syntax babbling.  Disaster,
like the tongue, takes
many forms.  The felled

tower.  The tented
wedding shelled.  We speak
nothing of the dark & droning

engine of the heart.  How—
from humus— we are
hung on hurt.

How urgently
it is over.  Hello.  Open
your dirty mouth & mourn.


Christopher Kempf  is a Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University.  His poetry and essays have appeared recently in GuernicaThe New Inquiry, and Prairie Schooner among other places, most of which can be accessed from his website.  He currently lives in Oakland.

One comment

  1. Pingback: Issue Two, June 1, 2013 | Matter

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