Spin & The Poet's Backward Obituary

Nathan Say


When you realize the last salted pill is gone: 
head to the fridge. 

When the last drop of acid citrus hits your lips:
empty the cabinet.

When the last crumbs rear their ugly head:

head to the park, 
the Nightclub
the beach.

Where the boys are:
hold each of them in your mouth
skin to skin.

whisper your tiny prayer
of buried anguish.


The Poet's Backward Obituary

Today he has no teeth,
His tongue pulled out by a pack of wolves.
His hands sit across the room, staring at him.

Remember when they took him home,
How he looked like a perfect blessing?
Only digits slightly bend,
Mouth crooked at the gape?

Did they ever imagine how fast his tongue would pulse
How big his heart would bleed? Did they ever imagine
A bathtub full of piss?

Did they ever imagine fourteen years later,
They would turn police away
Drowning his tale with blood tears?

When he uttered “poet,”
Did they ever imagine that tying shoes
Would feel like lacing lead?

When they imagined babies and wives
And churches and temples,
Did they ever think men and husbands and
Pills and bottles?

Did he ever imagine
An aching pulse,
A parent’s mouth full of knives?

Did he ever imagine “I’m Sorry
Would be the elusive dream?

Nathan Say lives and writes in Las Vegas, Nevada. His work can be found on The Indiefeed Performance Poetry Podcast, anthologized in Flicker and Spark: A Contemporary Queer Anthology of Spoken Word and Poetry, published in Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature and A Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal, and is forthcoming in other journals. He is active in the Slam Poetry movement and has performed throughout the country, featuring at the 2013 Capturing Fire National Queer Spoken Word Slam and Summit and opening for Andrea Gibson. In June 2014, Nathan will begin the Low Residency MFA in Writing Program at Pacific University in Portland, Oregon.