[FROM] THESE LATE ECLIPSES
THE UNITED STATES
are not the greatest poem. Unrest in peace: knee, neck, back, choke, sick, tired, ired. Reporters arrested on live. Tracing a hexagon, a Predator collects synthetic-aperture. UTC+7:00: I phone my brother in Bangkok. Murder, mourning, rage, repeat. It’s tomorrow he speaks to me from.
Early evening electrical storm, its psychedelic shutter drag, its tear gas smog and smartphone flare. Deny, defy, delay. A man with a cardiac Faraday cage plays martial intervention in the basement: brat, a brute. Sundown goes down like an entry wound: bruised, then bleeding out.
according to no one specific, I and alter-I: right quick trek to the mailbox and back, Lotemax: two drops per day, bend in the wind brought doglike under military control. In the wake of. After several weeks: we, anti-us. Outside, there is no outside. My hatred has nowhere to go.
I nuked the outlet cover, so the wasps are ornery, doubling down. Screw their quick vindictiveness, their wary holding pattern by the plants. But if I were them, my family in there, some coward come vex my home—I’d do what I had to do. I’d end the motherfucker too.
ANDREW ZAWACKI is the author of five poetry books: Unsun : f/11 (Coach House, 2019), Videotape (Counterpath, 2013), Petals of Zero Petals of One (Talisman House, 2009), Anabranch (Wesleyan, 2004), and By Reason of Breakings (Georgia, 2002). His translation of Sébastien Smirou, My Lorenzo, received a French Voices Grant, and his translation of Smirou’s See About earned an NEA Translation Fellowship and a fellowship from the Centre National du Livre. A former fellow of the Slovenian Writers’ Association, he edited Afterwards: Slovenian Writing 1945–1995 and edited and co-translated Aleš Debeljak’s Without Anesthesia: New & Selected Poems. A 2016 Howard Foundation Fellow in Poetry, he is distinguished research professor of English at the University of Georgia.