What can I say? I had ever-after ping-ponging its potential against my palms.
I dreamt of oceans and operas, fireflies and football,
and it all exploded toward infinity
before I really had a plan.
All of a sudden, volcanoes were erupting everywhere,
prokaryotes twinning like crazy.
I turned to click the moon in place,
and by the time I returned, found a man peeling skin from his brother's skull,
whole tribes paying debt with their backs’ labor.
I tried to intervene, but they had weaponized the voice and genitals,
mythologized my pleas: banshee, ghost, 귀신, wendigo.
I dropped the salvation I was saving. I flew.
So yes, you were my first. Forgive me.
I wanted to birth the next universe.
I could already see my mistakes:
how carving oceans between you was sure to foster distrust;
that the wonder of the mind could never be expressed
through the lowing of tongues and lips;
how asking one man to carry my commandments
would regiment the imbalance of power.
But even I couldn’t have guessed
the breadth of being butchered into virility’s proving grounds:
sex, sport, wealth, the impulse to isolate the self—
how my love could be the scapegoat for it all.
I've failed a few more worlds since then—
wept as hunger wilted sinew
while the fat penned dirges for those still-walking cadavers.
But I get better each time. I've got this new place:
Flat acre of sword grass,
single well of fresh water,
dog-sized creatures with no eyes or mouths or noses,
just ears to hear the music they make
churning against each other, searching
for any warm body to share this eroding moment.
Andrew P. Dillon graduated in the University of Tennessee’s inaugural MFA class. His work is forthcoming or has appeared most recently in Connotation Press, Gamut, Rivet: The Journal of Writing That Risks, Public Pool, The Human, Review Americana, and Potomac Review. He taught for a few years, but now works in healthcare in Nashville while completing his first collection, currently titled Captain for Dark Mornings (after a track on his favorite Laura Nyro album). He is tragically committed to the Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, and Tennessee Vols. He strongly supports the use of semi-colons, em dashes, and the serial comma.