Beyond petroleum

I want to just be a torso.
I’d rather not suffer the indignities
of reaching for or walking towards.
I put a toy train on your bound chest.

I put fake barnacles in your arms, it’s
a fake haunting, of the arms on the inside
by no-one’s pirate. This is how a love song’s
supposed to smell like. In which no-one’s fresh.

In which even the love’s the most
used up, just a torso
left for Roman, a tube
you can’t even plug:

oh, I know. To fuck me now
would be Macondo, a whole other kind, with no meaning beyond
the months you longed for me and gradually
gushed – water. Just that.

See? love song doesn’t mean a thing.
But at least it doesn’t stop the dawn from turning green.
At least. and the rusty color of barnacles.

At least it’s not causing that smell
of petrol, infidelity to the city of New Orleans

who will forgive them for cheating on New Orleans
like “I” forgives “you”
right now, in the dawn?

I dreamed of that person’s hair, and I forgave it.
It soaked up everything in the night.
You showered by falling through a cloud,
but your beyond part

still smelled of it – the ocean’s torso, incapable of defending itself
(see, the rhythm’s changed) – the little things
that don’t mean a thing
before they add up:

barnacles on barnacles
barnacles on barnacles
barnacles on barnacles.


Ana Božičević was born in Zagreb, Croatia in 1977. She emigrated to NYC in 1997. Her first book of poems is Stars of the Night Commute (Tarpaulin Sky Press, November 2009), a Lambda Literary Award finalist. Her fifth chapbook, Depth Hoar, will be published by Cinematheque Press in 2010. With Amy King, Ana co-curates The Stain of Poetry reading series in Brooklyn. She works at the Center for the Humanities of The Graduate Center, CUNY.

2 thoughts on “BEYOND PETROLEUM by Ana Božičević

  1. earth’s lament, fury, your poem is, with sounds of Purcell’s “Dido’s Lament” — “remember me”. thank you, Ana.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s