Nina Puro is a poet, human, & queer weirdo whose writing is in The Atlas Review, Guernica, the PEN/ America Poetry Series, & others. A member of the Belladonna* Collaborative; author of two chapbooks (Argos Books and dancing girl press); recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Brooklyn Community Pride Foundation, & Syracuse University (MFA, 2012), Nina cries and works in Brooklyn.
If afraid, cured leather & wood-smoke. If forgotten,
sassafras & hominy. If remembered,
bright blue hook. If bereft, lamb sizzling.
If rupture, obsidian &
chickweed. If suture, sleep curled around
a pine tree. If surge, puddle of milk. If shadow,
puddle of gasoline. If gender, shadow hurtling
overhead. If gender, dream in a language
you don't know. If gender, swim
parallel to shore. If morning, sunspots
& black pepper. If mourning, black
spot on a lung. If harvest, blood
sport & blood work.
If language, cracked
branches. If ghost, funeral suit worn
thin at the knees. If rainstorm, core
of candle. If closeness, death wish & warm
dram. If addict, human. If addict, suture
& nuzzle. If caught out, folly
and muzzle. If walk, decade of
tiny crosshatches. If ruby glass, pick out
the stitches with your teeth.
If itch, reorganize the sky.
If itch, dropped stitch & chipped
saucer. If blackout, cinnabar
& fallout shelter. If walk, keep walking.