A Poem by Ryan Dzelzkalns

Ryan Dzelzkalns

Ryan Dzelzkalns

Ryan Dzelzkalns has work appearing with Assaracus, DIAGRAM, The Offing, The Shanghai Literary Review, Tin House, and others. He completed an MFA at New York University and a BA at Macalester College where he received the Wendy Parrish Poetry Award. He works for the Academy of American Poets and is the tallest man in New York.

Argument Against a Unified Self

Lost fingernails come back as silverfish.
                       The sprinkled dandruff, a line of ants.

Your abandoned flesh haunts you, recalcitrant.
               The condom circling the trash like a viper.

These careless vermin of our inexactitude.
                          If only you could see your mistakes

before they slithered away. If only
                       you could do something right, finally

recognize the end of your body. The body,
                                                       fitful automaton,

losing so much of itself
                                                  to prove you wrong.