Post-Apocalyptic Pastoral at Lake Merritt, Oakland
Pretending to be a ghost here is nothing
new, like wandering without love.
There is a boneyard of buildings
inside my throat. I don’t know
how to define exogenous
but it somehow calls my name.
From across the broken lake,
shadow-clouds are growing. Where sky-
towers used to stretch towards the open
ceiling, there is absence like missing
neighbors. How can you unbraid toxicity
from your scalp? What if memory
was never this tangle of nerves
clinging your ribs? The opposite of this
would be skinning a pomegranate with bare
knives, the crush of organic seeds
in your unclenched jaws.
The chewing; the red juices.
Alan Chazaro is the author of This Is Not a Frank Ocean Cover Album (Black Lawrence Press, 2019) and the forthcoming Piñata Theory (Black Lawrence Press, 2020). He writes a monthly column, “Pocho Boy Meets World”, for Palette Poetry while exploring Latinx voices he discovers while traveling throughout Latin America. His work has recently been published in The Bold Italic, Alien Magazine, and San Francisco Chronicle. Find him on Twitter @alan_chazaro.