Nate Pritts



Afternoon descends, blunts

the regular ecstasies of summer

& I am now too aware of how the day


divides itself – swarm of morning,

that accumulated light, & I rely

on these feeble human mechanisms


to plot the grim remainder, the rush

of a collapsing span.  I watch

the air spill from itself, I go away


from the flowers in search of other

flowers that grow deep, far.

An energy pours from my eyes,


touches everything & takes it in,

makes it so much a part of me that I

can’t help feeling like a phantom


in the midst of such beauty.  Here,

afternoon uses different colors

to mark time, to speak to the primal


code in me— I remember I am a creature

designed to end, hopeful void, radiant.

I have a terrifying origin, forgotten


except in the chalk of my bones.  



Thousands of springy blades

of front yard grass

reach up past the soles of my naked feet

until even the indomitable I

can’t quite feel

his own hulking mammal body

& everything slows down

to the consistency of orange outdoor light,

1:52 pm in July,

me alone noticing

one two three ladybugs

marching together up the slim

& ridiculous neck of a lone dandelion

laughing by itself but

of course there is nowhere to go

which is where I am going

until I realize what’s really happening

which is everything all at once

this love which is absurd & goes on


so I hurtle up the murky stone

steps to the house

like a runaway balloon from a car window

then over the slumbering porch wood

to let the screen door drop past me

where it bangs loud against

the summer white trim

of the frame I rush through

to my desk & I write this email to you. 


Nate Pritts is the author of six full-length books of poetry, most recently Right Now More Than Ever, as well as several chapbooks including Pattern Exhaustion (Smoking Glue Gun, '14) and Life Event (FootHills Publishing, '14).  He founded H_NGM_N, an online journal and small press, in 2001 and continues to serve as Director & Prime Architect for its various endeavors.  He lives in the Finger Lakes region of New York.