Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2018  Vol. 17 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
 print preview

77.15 Kelvin

After her second shot the artist starts to talk about
Cryonics of all things, the initiate of her boyfriend
Who attends such conferences. . . . Freeze me, baby!

He once said to her, the height of their bodily passion.
Of all the absurd, most passionate, climactic words
Surely there are worse. One can only imagine

What jettisons between them. Twelve thousand bucks
For the brain floating in vitro, free of the scuttled
Skiff of the line-tangled body, a cool quarter mil

For the whole nine yards, every finger, toe,
As if at 77.15 kelvin we found heaven,
The boiling point of liquid nitrogen

Flushed through the xylem of each dead organ,
The bodies upright in their silver cells, some new
Hal singing “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” each eyebrow

White as snow. One by one the banks drain
The trust accounts. Ward of the frozen state
Your lifelong partner croons by the power

Of his attorney. No prince wakes you
Ever from your glass sleep, or duly waits on you,
Vigilant as a Millerite counting on some

Nineteenth-century New York hillside
The clouded arrhythmia of Christ.
The artist pours another straight up, no ice,

Figures the crystalline rapture’s a vessel
Rigged with time, scaffolds into nothingness,
Ghosted with minds.  

return to top