Consumption I can hear my heartbeat through my bones. Not loudly but insistently. Like rust. I open my mouth to scream but the sound is swallowed by smoke. My life is mine to carry like a suitcase or something smaller. What little volume it takes to hold us razed by heat and light. A deck of cards. An eyeglass case if we’re lucky. No bigger than that. I surrender myself to myself. The way a fallen tree gives itself over to the forest fire.
Art Nahill is an American-born physician and poet who lives in Auckland New Zealand. He has published on both sides of the equator, in magazines such as Poetry, Harvard Review, Rattle, and Poetry NZ among others, as well as three book-length collections.