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Thursday, July 29, 2021


by Robert Américo Esnard

The sun streaks a dull rust 
over the Hudson, 
the dusty air shimmers metallic,
and I am overcome 
with awareness of my own blood.
I can feel it, not rushing, but crawling,
a slow advance. 
My whole body a fleshy host.
the small power of a protein 
to sustain a whole body: 
to capture, 
to carry, to climb, to clear. 
We, less thankless 
more heedless. I rarely consider:
the shape of a fluid forms 
its function.
A tiny shift is enough to poison 
a whole body: 
to capture contagion, to carry 
contaminants through the blood. 
A breath of rust 
climbing as the branches burn,
a body overcome,
making a slow advance to dust.

Robert Américo Esnard was born and raised in the Bronx, NY. He studied Linguistics and Cognitive Science at Dartmouth College. His work has been published by or is forthcoming in Alternating Current Press, Alternative Field, Cutbank, Glass, Lunch Ticket, New York Quarterly, and several anthologies. He is a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize-nominated poet.