Nathaniel Rosenthalis

Self-Portrait as Works and Days

Kissing you
was like tending a tiny
desktop garden
of fake succulents.
I took a photo.

Self-Portrait as Prey

Wet,
you want me to
fold in half, arms
behind my back
while I act
like I like you
liking that 

Self-Portrait as Imaginary Enemy

Was or wasn’t
that not you
in a seersucker suit
with the
embarrassing
underarm stains
I saw each time
you lifted a hand
to offer me
that saltshaker? 

Self-Portrait as Shovel

Take me back.
What’d dirty you
falls through my head.
You lifted me.
Bent over
to put me in and over
the earth. The
earth.
I don’t own this yard. 

Self-Portrait in Stadium

I love sports.
One day the lead player, though, he
disappeared.
As if on my behalf.
Now I’m in this sportsy state.
I can explain:
“Sports shouldn’t be
the art of some
individuals, without
being a tacit act
-ivity and universe of
everything.” 

Self-Portrait as Little Rote Exercise

I pick a fossil up and it is
replaced by a
fossil.
Not just ice:
I run over ice
I slip
I slip to run this past
past you.
Love you.

Nathaniel Rosenthalis’s recent poems can be found in Chicago Review and Lana Turner. He is the author of the forthcoming chapbook 24 HOUR AIR (PANK, 2021). He lives and works in New York City.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis (susanlewis.net) is the editor of Posit (positjournal.com) and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom, winner of the 2017 Washington Prize, Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in such places as The Awl, Berkeley Poetry Review, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Cimarron, Gargoyle, The Journal, New American Writing, The New Orleans Review, Prelude, Raritan, Seneca Review, So to Speak, Verse, Verse Daily, and VOLT.