Andrew Zawacki

Viatica (6)

who followed himself and forgot
himself, and when the way forward

was minted in soot, as midnight
unlocked its arms, who counterfeited

the garroted path, then counter-
feited himself: who washed himself

and washed himself, with snow water,
water of diamond, water from the ice

that water had made: who could not
come clean, with mudsalve, with rain,

saliva on the eyes and on the throat:
who kerned himself and his messages

to one without number or name,
arrowed himself, unfigured himself,

pulled apart the voice he couldn’t see
and turned to see, and could not see:

who promised himself to rabid dust,
rising with storm feints, rising without,

promised himself to the faience
under his feet: was told he would

find it, not need to look, told
he’d recognize what came upon him

in the open, its shattered limbs
and urgent, osseous light: who

called it encaustic, called it alas,
said it was somewhere the wind

couldn’t bend: and who, having never
been there, would go there again