To whom – to what – do I belong by Aaron Coleman

The mind in night spreads out like fireflies – impatient
lilting over flooding water, nowhere to land now
that they can see, each makes me still look back.

Who reached? – I wanted to be the fateless
cave where someone, you, could lose the world, slip down
its drowsed mind, spread like night around impatient fireflies –

What has my life been laced with?
Needles, threats, amphetamines, insides skitter and pound
though they see nothing. I look away and in and back

and forth, what pulls or lulls or lies stagnant
floods and anchors all I am. Stone sure, I am an edge. Now
night becomes my mind, moondark, impatient, looses fireflies

in this broken trickle through what won’t remain, this pit
an open mouth, a living hole, breathing in the end out
more than taking in, like eyes I’ve watched, like where I look

and hate to look at. Faith, let me be rootless, fluent
as pain and change-slick water. I am you and falling through
darkness in my mind, soft spill of dying fireflies, impatient
in this body, this brink, scheme, see: in here I can’t look back.
Aaron Coleman’s first full-length collection, Threat Come Close, is forthcoming from Four Way Books in March 2018. Winner of the 2015 Button Poetry Prize for the chapbook, St. Trigger, as well as the Tupelo Quarterly TQ5 Poetry Contest and the Cincinnati Review Robert and Adele Schiff Award, Aaron is also a Fulbright Scholar and Cave Canem Fellow. Aaron’s poems have appeared in journals including Boston Review, FENCE and New York Times Magazine. Aaron is currently a PhD candidate in Comparative Literature at Washington University St. Louis.