Siste Viator

Less and less I enjoy my death,
the frailty with its fragrance—
holding my breath to the opposite end
of an Olympic pool, or surfing despite
the pinched nerve in my spine
riding behind my eye like a bee
trapped in a glass. It wont last. Even the night
with its crystalline inhabitants is fragile—
its tenderness blessed with its end.
Saturn’s rings are ice, water, and dust.
A solar flare could blunt the earth to silence,
a razor blade crossing chalkboards
clears a field with deer. I breathe in a night
that covers the lake like caramel.
I harvest this chemistry, lacing my brain
thoroughly to itself. Though I am not
Po Chu-I’s three pine trees he planted
when his wife died so that his grief
would grow beyond his death,
like everyone, I have a body
grown weary of abandon. The brief dance
of the letter O in our throats like the tires
of a car in mud scream for release—
what we take from each other to forget
each other is a cathedral we’ll never see
finished. When I say I’m not finished,
I mean stop travelereulogize,
praise the essential selfishness to live,
break from labor for the feasting.



John-Michael Bloomquist lives in Bloomington, Indiana with his partner. His poetry has been published in Third Coast, The Carolina Quarterly,  The South Dakota Review and more. He is the founder of, an interactive public arts project.  He wants to foster a hypoallergenic cat.



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