poet + artist

Nina Oteria

The Unseen

roots underneath, hidden in plain sight

original darkness, soil of the universe

soul, drop your skin

then, it’s just blood hibiscus rosehip red

original darkness of the ocean, salt fed


soul energy of blue creation

skin drops off at the end of eyes

color is both a particle and a wave

& there is no vision in the blind spot

I’ve known a shell for you

a handful of petals on the grass

I wonder about the unseen of you

what I cannot know

from just the sun on your face


Black Hole

in reality,                             the black hole                      is a crushed grape

in reality, it’s the earth collapsed to the size of a peanut

housed in a broken string of pearls

the chemicals in the milk induce a chain reaction


as an ideal black body

as a body so massive I reflect no light

as a black body of temperature

as a black body of stellar mass

as a grave womb filled with pearls


no person escapes the horizon at the end of a life cycle

one pearl’s end is another pearl’s beginning

without visible light

without a trace


whatever doesn’t kill me before nightfall burns

like a green lamp a new leaf in the middle of my body

jumps across breathing synapses clover flowers spill

still birth a year of lightning grief that is many beds pull

intermittently at my closing frame  

the scenes I drift through occur inside the jelly of dreams


I sleep without dreams

leave the earth with the feet of my burns

reluctantly look out of frame

to touch the sorest part underneath the skin of a body

snatcher whose many thoughts worms pull

through North Carolina clay ask the trellis how to spill


my heart is bloated so my salt must spill

leave the earth with the feet of many dreams

my ribs pull

and splay like sinking ash after it burns

light sage and salt a tender clay body

among the brick stacks looking out from a wooden frame

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