Peire Vidal

Because I was in love with my city,
I climbed high above it, and was small
in the eye of God. I went into the body of a coyote.
My throat was pulled up to the root
and the sky went in. It is no lie to say
I sang the world to death and back.


My nails grew long, I was famous.
Only the moon knew my stillness.
You could skip rocks off my spine.
I was in love with a man who carried
the scent of earth. He went out of my room
with a draft and returned when the tangerines
had ripened above my door. Every day
was a gift. All my songs tasted of copper.


I made promises and kept them, even
the lies. In a box, I kept them, lined with
abalone shell and iced with dust.
I was in a courtyard when I opened
that box, and the wind came through. Ruthless.
I walked on sky and never looked down.
There are different kinds of change. Only
some of them did I notice.


I was driven out of my home and woke
in strange places with memories not my own.
I vomited on tile and drew within it an omen.
My friend has died far over the water. How
will I bring myself to read his book?
I stood before the wreckage and it is a wonder
my ears didn’t bleed. I heard a song so clear
that all that’s left is a ringing. I can’t hear you.
Write it out, I can’t hear you.

Luke Munson’s work appears in Arcturus and Mirage #5. He wrote and helped produce, with the LA artists’ collective Die Kränken, a video play which was in exhibition at the Univeristy of Southern California’s ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives in 2017. He has an MA in poetry from the University of California, Davis and lives in the Bay Area.