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One Poem – Nate Maxson

Nate Maxson is a writer and performance artist. He is the author of several collections of poetry including “The Age of Jive” and “The Whisper Gallery.” He lives in Santa Fe, NM.

T-Minus 3/Parable: Lazarus Was An Astronaut

Like Lazarus, the test pilot/ the low frequency voice
In the atmosphere/ banging his fist on the wall (now where have I heard that before?)
All strapped in/ tools for scientific measurement floating,
I die vicariously
This way
My little joke
Whose ghost is it?
Lighting my way
We get all our knowledge second hand
Like smoke
It grows on you
The resurrection
Which saint is it?
Wipes the fire from his eyes
And which one?
Hides it in the folds of his coat
One very old method of divination involved holding the hip bone of a sheep over a fire
And watching which way the eventual cracks go
I understand this
Because every few years I shed my skin,
Leave behind a chemical afterbirth that as it escapes sounds like pages turning rapidly
Red room light on the chiromantic entrails of amber film rolls
I watch which way they drift in the wind

He must have understood/ because he was the first
When the angels look at us/ when they look out of their mirrors for once instead of endlessly into them
They witness the uncanny valley/ something waving back at them from the other side
Each time/ it seems like it’s over
Something moves
Breakfast lurching through the pine trees
With such a circular smirk
Behind you

Well then,
Like the moth cocooned
Who wake in the quietest hour
If I were you
I would tiptoe if I moved at all
The lichen clinging to the outside of your impressively large rocket
Is a very light sleeper

“T-Minus 3/Parable: Lazarus Was An Astronaut” was previously published in Fuck Art, Let’s Dance Issue #012.


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