Nominative Absolute. by Chris Campanioni

Death is in the restroom
staring at my reflection
in the mirror.

I see myself in the future
tense, imperfect past,
or simply participle

(present only
in pieces).
Such a night.

In my bed, I watch people
on the screen, and hear
the clock tick—

cricket, cricket—
patient fakings,
a boom mic

hanging between the cracks
of luminescence. Such a night
for something to feel so

exact and at the same time
lacking. Absent.
Such a night.

This is best read
in the time it takes to play
the musical companion.

(New Order: Age of Consent)

Death is in the kitchen sink,
and I am washing my hands
of him.

Chris Campanioni seeks to blur boundaries. He has worked as a journalist, model, and actor, and he currently teaches literature and creative writing at the City University of New York, Staten Island. His work has also appeared in the Star-Ledger, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Bergen Record, the Herald News, The Brooklyn Rail, StatORec, La Pluma y La Tinta, theNewerYork, Vending Machine Press, and Fjords Review. He was awarded the Academy of American Poets Prize at Lincoln Center in 2013, and his debut novel, Going Down, was recently selected as Best Debut Novel for the approaching International Latino Book Awards.

It was also named by the
New York Post as a “must-read book” and one of the best books of the year by the Latina Book Club. (photo credit: Harol Baez)