Julianne Buchsbaum

The Darkness of Proper Names

Night is a door into possible dolor
down by the river where I stagger

into the calico leaves of late September
ending in a weather of rawness

and fluoxetine. Down by the river
where the best summers have gone by,

a woman simultaneously darkens
the leaves of late September and stores

the data of their raindrops. Her analysis
of reality darkens inside me: Hello,

so I’m thinking of you. Though pain’s
intrinsic to this place, I wake to find a nurse

dragging me up the Alps of epinephrine.
I leap from the impossible to the semiotic:

class is to calla lily is to Eli Lilly.
(None of this means there is anesthesia.)

I pass under the trestle’s pylons, thinking
of the brain-states of those in pain.

The rationality I woke up with goes cold
as some brute staggers into a personality.

Those who habitually refer to a weather
of sirens, dialectics, and days long past,

might pose in the future the frontiers
of their analysis of being. Meanwhile,

encyclopedias compile neither eloquence
nor panpipes mechanically parroted.