Dying in the Twenty-First Century Samarkand is an adjective for leather. It has no inhabitants, no taxes. Troops do not amass on the border, nor does weather assail its horizons. Still, you can find loops for all your buttons, sweep your finger through the fringe, or smell the life that once infused the fabric with blood and melanin. You knew or might have known the muscles that were used to shape and propel this handbag, canteen, saddle. The skin of horses or donkeys (which are you?) are now a turqoise-green shagreen. The cattle who fed your stiff black boots are marching, too, accosting a crucial city lost among the nettles of a networked eye and tongue.
A Spell Against Memory Look in the glass. Drink the new wine. Flee from the past. Circle slowly into future’s manic folly, spiraling angrily heavenward, remaining determinedly asymptotic, tangentially ecstatic, viciously burrowing. Relinquish knowledge. Render even sunrise shocking. Censor her warmth from night, her words from sound, her joy from light.
Donald Zirilli was a finalist for the James Tate Prize and a nominee for the Forward Prize. He was editor of Now Culture and is a member of the Red Wheelbarrow Gang. His poetry was published in The 2River View, Anti- poetry magazine, ART TIMES, Nerve Lantern, River Styx,and other periodicals and anthologies. He and his wife live in an idyllic corner of New Jersey with two dogs and a cat. His chapbook, Heaven’s Not For You, was published in September, 2018, by Kelsay Books.