Turned Back the Disaster Comes Back

Contrary, besieged, my self
makes me its accomplice.
I owe him, my mandatory proxy,
a borrowed happenstance,
a philosophy in place of me.
Welcome, difficult neighbor,
the patient, dying, announces,
for he is my neighbor, who
assigns the me in me eaten away.
Such is the new future no present
remembers: the fall of the regular
fall of the beat—the disaster
again. Speaking, we cause it
to appear, the gentlest want,
the same word crushed, feverish.
The disaster is beyond the pale.
Improper disaster, what have you
done? God no longer the neighbor
in this night spared. It is dark, disaster.
What a long way there is to go.

From Late Empire (Copper Canyon Press, 2017). Copyright © 2017 by Lisa Olstein. Used with the permission of the author.