Chase Berggrun


for Tony Spaulding, slain January 1st, 2013, Allston Massachusetts


the body
looked lighter

the truth of death
was offered
like a wishbone,
built for
two hands

how can you love me
now that you know
I am pinned to nothing

how can you love me
when you can only wait
ready in your box
like an unlit match

a question
a long time coming
something like

will anything
open for you
will anything
bring you
from pain, a gossamer
weight, lifted high
like a pane of glass

my dream last night:
with the knife
halfway to your heart

you sighed,
said softly
stay cool.




it’s 2:17 pm why
not pour another rum & Fanta
there is something about a photograph
that poisons the heart
I’ve been
thinking about how all the important
& insignificant events of the day
are basically the same
to the extent that I’ll remember neither;
I’ve been thinking about how
to Satanists Satan isn’t Satan
but a symbol of pleasure & justified
excess; is hedonism in & of itself
a noble end; I don’t really care if
it isn’t I enjoy enjoying; I’ve been thinking
about how deeply I’ve ruined myself;
I’ve been thinking about quitting everything &
trying to make it work in Oklahoma;
I haven’t really been thinking about that;
what’s the difference between
thought & fancy; desire & fantasy;
blasphemy’s so near to prayer as to
be almost indistinguishable; I confess
I haven’t thought of you in many months
though I have dreamed; & how much
sweeter, the dream; your face now
would only taint the reality that I invented
so lovingly; I confess these dreams
involve consuming your blood; I confess
nothing; I regret nothing; I am ashamed
of nothing at all, nothing; I confess my heart
was poisoned long ago; but look at the sky; I’m still here

Chase Berggrun is a nonbinary trans poet. Their work has been published in the PEN Poetry Series, Diagram, Jellyfish, The Offing, Prelude, Apogee, Beloit Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. They received their MFA in Poetry from NYU.
Mark Cugini