Maura Pellettieri

Prince came to

a friend of mine, said,
Death is painless, even for me. He wore
all the words, some sleeves
no one had ever heard,
every conceivable shoe made from the sky
of another existence. Asteroids bled
laces while he spoke. But he was not
really wearing shoes. He was
not really speaking. He arrived
in understandable form. He leaned
on all the doorframes in every house
that ever stood at every intersection
ever named a country, wrenched a smile
eternally. That’s everything
worth knowing.

We stare at one rose bloomed
recently, brambles on water,
inedible belongings. A thin
harbor seal dives over
my despacho, back into the thicket.
I build a responsible fire upon
the salted water, and turn my back
to it. I ask an old friend to cross
over. A horse stands upon the sound, grazing
through the dilemmas. It could be
said the thickness of solitaire
is gone. Or that sweetgrass is youngly-
clipped and smells stormed
below whitewater and the horse’s
heels are cold. It could be said visions
are eaten when bodies are
a heaven, that all bodies have been known
to themselves as other beings. For now,
me and the horse wear shoes. We all know
Prince is out there in
inconceivable form.

Maura Pellettieri writes poems that are fictions, fictions that are poems, and essays that are essays. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Connotations Press, Apogee, Public Pool, Fairy Tale Review, Tammy Journal, and others. She holds an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis and is a 2016 Edward F. Albee Fellow.

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