Involuted Velleities of Self-Erasure



after Frank Bidart







What was left was not

nothing. Blurry


outline of a boy


paper epidermis abraded

to thin raw strips.


This world lets nothing remain


colorless. Please, I’ll be anything.

Draw me. Drown me in hue.






I’m not a hummingbird I’m not in love I’m not lying I’m not sick I’m not eating I’m not lying with a boy on a cliff in a dream I’m not in love with sick I’m not eating a hummingbird I don’t love him I don’t love him I’m not here






What was left was not nothing. It was hungry.






Unlatch the self-loathing.

Open the terror.

Climb out that window

into light.








Draw me. Go ahead.

Let’s see you do it


without drowning.







My mouth is full

of blank receipts.


Who is responsible?


To whom can I return







Unlatched the sick. Opened

the cliff. Climbed


out the hummingbird.


Go ahead. Draw me.

I’m not here.

Dylon Jones is a poet, essayist and journalist based in Louisville, Kentucky, where he serves as web editor of Louisville Magazine. He is a recipient of Sarabande Books' Flo Gault Poetry Prize, and his narrative journalism has earned him first-place awards in feature writing and profile reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists. His poems also appear in The Collagist.