ode to nas, ode to the cousin the cousin of death

anesthesia & euthanasia, two

cousins in the night of killing, hand you

two wrenches like lilies for all the pain

first  – one buds like a point with no axis

from which the second blooms       Fibonacci

spirals of petals which might cut any

other flower  to the half-life. here, with-

in this act: the exact same corkscrewing

it takes to give a hand to a wrench, now,

euthanasia, like a cassette, rewinds

you to piles of nail, new york’s, no home.

anesthesia is that baby still young

enough to be a want, at home, sporting

a children’s toolbox, laughing,  anything


[could be outside  doors  even death. look: here.]



Trace Howard DePass is the author of Self-portrait as the space between us (PANK Books, 2018), which was a finalist for the 2019 Eric Hoffer Book Prize. He served as the editor of Scholastic’s Best Teen Writing of 2017 & as the 2016 Teen Poet Laureate for the Borough of Queens. His work has been featured on screen and radio—BET Next Level, Billboard, Blavity, Poetry Foundation, Ours Poetica, and NPR’s The Takeaway—and in print— SAND Journal, Entropy Magazine, Platypus Press, Split This Rock, The Poetry Project, & Bettering American Poetry (Volume 3). DePass is a Poetry Incubator, Teaching Artist Project, & Poets House Fellow.

IG: @tracedepass
Twitter: @southsidepoems

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