Noah LeBien


In which I try to remember a dead body.
In which I try to imagine its ontology.
In which I try to imagine “many.”
In which the purple light lazing on my lover’s face
is a ghostboy trying to speak.

As if in some misplaced prairie
there is silence or only
the sound of falling, a shuddering
beneath a lash of air, nicking moths in half
with the faintest of gestures.
This is an attempt to understand a human lack of space.

If only I could silence my sex,
America would be mine.
If only I could learn to turn a blind eye,
America would be mine.
A democracy of one each
for one hundred million,
my skin is as white as sand, there is a plague-box inside me.

Then the statistics are out of date,
the laboratory is abandoned,
the reactor shut down, the equipment slowly, daintily
chipped of perfection, corrugated shrines of sheet metal
crackling in the light of the occasional
military copter or cruiser.

& this is the prairie, the wind on your bare shoulders,
the hush of the tall grass, the sunset, the wheat,
your body is a wasteland, there is no path,
here is my portal, here is my unexplained phenomenon,
I shall grant your one wish.

Noah LeBien is from Chicago. He attended Shimer College and received his MFA from Bennington College. He has been published in Prelude Magazine among others. He is working right now at your favorite independent bookstore so please say hi to him behind the counter and stop using Amazon.

JD Thornton