OXIDANT | ENGINE : Issue 12

Anthony Sutton

from Decorporeal 

There’s the Post-structuralist saying not

                         to use the first- 

person pronoun—how can I 

                         be me when you are 

for yourself, me?—and also a bio 

                         I read on twitter 

saying Pronouns: Don’t 

                         refer to me, 

which means the only thing 

                         left in this ghost-world 

is you, which is good since 

                         this self has been walking 

all day and passed the park, 

                         only seeing broad impressions 

of the color green, looked 

                         at concrete and whispered 

like bone. There’s an ember 

                         that this self’s ribs 

clasp like a fist. It becomes 

                         a heart, when you say

the word. The leafless trees 

                         reach for the moon 

because you tell them to. 

                         Which is to say that there might 

be nothing when you aren’t 

                         speaking. Of course, 

you’ve never read Peirce, 

                         or any semiotic theory 

so you can’t even hear it, 

                         you don’t even know 

who the object is in all of this 

                         when we come

together.

from Decorporeal 

And so maybe my true form is air,

which has no density or physical

properties other than chemical 

bonds that form it. You didn’t like this

thought. I know. You liked pressing me

against the wall, leaning in 

for a kiss. Running your hands

along my thighs and waist as I

shifted my weight to straddle 

your knee. It all traced 

the signifiers that mark me 

as man (which you liked). Like how 

Dante said God wrote 

humanity’s name (homo

latin, of course) onto 

our very skulls. When the eyes

and nose rot out, the sockets 

spell out O-M-O, which 

I’m sure you appreciate 

is the name for man. Air leaves you

with nothing to grasp. I’m sorry. 

My signifiers don’t match 

my contents. If they did 

I would not be 

of this world.

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Anthony Sutton resides on former Akokiksas, Atakapa, Karankawa, and Sana land (currently named Houston, TX) and has had poems appear or forthcoming in Zone 3, Gulf Coast, The Journal, Passages North, Prairie Schooner, Puerto del Sol, Quarter After Eight, Southern Indiana Review, and elsewhere.