Shane Michael Manieri

MISE-EN-SCÈNE: MY CHAOS SPEAKS

I have worlds
to burn.
I am
a wobbly state
of Materia Confusa.
Seth standing at the prow
of the sun god’s night barge.
A babbling beast
resembling no known creature.
I am not the same
as all the other
nothing.
My theories are nothing short
of madness. I live in
a barely furnished room with stars flickering
their fierce letters on the ceiling.
What is it that does this work?
Let me serve it
to you this way.
If I had eyes
in the palms of
my hands
I would cram the sun-
set into them.
I would hide my face
in them. I am a wreck
of bonfire butterflies: quick,
startled, contemptuous.
Forgive me if you read this.
Through the narrow aperture
I see uneasiness in
the wing.
I want it
to last longer.
How can I not
love all this: me: a god
breathes from my mouth.

Shane Michael Manieri, originally from New Orleans, earned an MFA from Columbia University. His honors include a Word for Word translation fellowship from Columbia University; the Riggio Honors, Writing and Democracy program from the New School for Social Research; and, a New York Summer Writers Institute fellow. His poems have appeared in 12th Street Journal, Painted Bride Quarterly, and Lambda Literary. Shane currently lives in New York City.




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