The Night

Andy Stallings

I cut ties with
the night I cut
ties with the

& sever too
the lethal
seam of really

night's estrangement
of you
you have
stitched it through
my sternum
distorting the

I cut ties
with the night &
laud your gas-mask
& choir

I laud
whatever eats at
the gaped dark
mouth of
night whatever
eats with such
disconcerting calm

if I was with you
I'd sever the seam
threading bodies
to unknown
bodies roaming
the gaped dark

I cut ties with
the night I cut
ties with the
night & its
dead avenues may
glitter to any
touch they
desire beneath
the chemical
crush of dawn

brilliant bandage
savage eyehole
disconsolate crevasse

I hold your
bones (are you
here) beyond
the night

I cut ties with
the night & the
shovels the tunnels
that fill you

arcades distilling
the freescale
night from
your size

have I made
a mistake

you talk as though
testament blooms
in your veins

as though narrative
somehow has
filled you with
origins &

your visible
skin at minimum
is coarse & chapped
with it & splits
the night

but I'd
take your hand
(are you here)
& exit the
night if I
were with you

I'd exit night
at the speed
of night receding
into night
who cares

at the speed of
night's retreat
from mechanized
longing buried
deep in the night

reverently you
provoke the night
who cares

provoke this
corridor this zone
this city your
composite (are
you here)

I aim for
the seam of you
at the center
of night
who cares

I aim for
the gaps in night
where down
desire lines night
breaks off
from itself

where your body
breaks into sores
who cares

I aim for
those thresholds

they could be
diseased who

if infection is
in you who cares

the most extravagant
cells the most
lawless musics the
most sensitive

let it all fester
let it all vanish
in the direction of

who cares

there's no threshold
I'll (provoked)
return from at
any point

no body the host
of a wound
I'll refuse to

who cares

I have made
no mistakes

there's no end
of night to which
I'll whisper
“the end”
without you
(the end)

at the end of
the night
a wound you've

a crowd

(the end)

have I made
a mistake

was it crucial

I cut ties with
the night who
cares & admit
the fertility of
its sores into
my body

are you here

I can make my
blood as wrong
as you want

I can make
my blood just like
a room you could
sleep in

who cares

I cut ties
with the night
like a room
like a room
that has guttered
before its emergence
like a room
lined with ditches
& trumpets & wings
like a room
filled with night's
great rot & a chorus
like a room
where you sleep
with three beaks
by your side
like a room
where death is
the light on
the ceiling
like a room
of aluminum
a room lined
with lead
like a room
where death's
the blue light
from the window
like a room
where you wake
& break from
the window
as I walk past

Andy Stallings lives in New Orleans with Melissa Dickey and their three children. His first book, To the Heart of the World, will be out in the fall with Rescue Press.