John A. Nieves

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John A. Nieves


Rolls of old foil scrolled across the floor, we had committed
to red behavior, to long wavelengths and longer songs. Lungfish

droned along the face of the moon on our speaker cones, giving
us the held rhythms, tighter held truths. We believed in the bass,

the rumble of the drums, guitars downtuned like old stars.
And the voice, matter-of-factly broken across its sentences,

slow-slumped over its grammar. This was how understanding
came: at molasses pace from the lowest ends of the spectrum.

And your hand was the hand that I held and reheld. And your lips
were the breaks in the shadows. And everything that lasts

is worth the sound. And everything that lasts is worth the time.
The time becomes the space for time, two shades of red that know

they rhyme.

John A. Nieves reads “Infra”


John A. Nieves’ poems appear in journals such as Copper Nickel, The American Poetry Review, American Literary Review, North American Review, and Southern Review. His first book, Curio, won the Elixir Press Annual Judges Prize. He’s an Associate Professor at Salisbury University and an editor of The Shore Poetry.