Nate Pritts

Wake The Sleeper

A dangerous flood threat looms.
C. writes to say we fall
apart, that it’s better to vanish

together, an ecstasy.
Moving throughout the humid house
is like trailing a finger

in warm honey, the shock
of being trapped
inside any body & yet loving the feel of it.

Massive flooding threatens
is serious          is looming.
But the air betrays not even

the scent of a downpour, not
the greeny footsteps of rain.
N. checks in to say he’s awake in the dark,

that he keeps running into himself.
I wait patiently
while the sick mid-afternoon sun passes,

serious flash flood warning in effect,
then delete an email
offering cheap airfare to Spain or Dubai

so then I think for a minute about
a few friends who aren’t anywhere anymore
& then I get a little sleepy again.

The last time I slept my dreams
were crowded with block print,
headlines I’ll never see in this world:

The ancient war beings realize their time
is done. The new planet rushes away
from their rage. They expire.

Solar Collapse

I’ve wanted to disappear
for so long it might have already happened,
every last particle of spring snow passing

right through my chest.
I stand in line for my coffee
too close to the woman ahead of me

because I’m convinced
I’m already
transparent & hollow

so she won’t notice my nose buried
in the curls gathered at her neck.
I want to take the sun with me

when I go
create a global catastrophe,
leave the whole world cold

under ripples of grey, the clouds
pressing their thumbs into every single heart,
flattening every soul.

Darling, the atmosphere
may be important but it’s the companion
that matters.

We’ll convince each other to go away,
bury ourselves in the hills, in miles of trees
among the lakes cut deep into the ground

& we’ll breathe only our own air
only the light that’s left after the sun
dims & disappears.


Nate Pritts is the author of six books of poetry, most recently Right Now More Than Ever. He founded H_NGM_N, an online journal & small press, & continues as the Director & Prime Architect for its various endeavors.