Natural History

Written By: Nicodemus Nicoludis

I

Ocean

The floor
hits especially cold

The lake front

A beach behind
a boat launch

I work all day
washing the hulls

Their jittery barnacles stipple over rust

I scrape them with violence

II

Channel down rivers
until I come to
a point

Banks bud where
poison ivy grows

A dirt path
circles a pond

The hill
opposite catching fire
behind the houses

I run into the woods & safely home again

III

I thump out rhythms

over
& over

The wood dissects
willingly

& summer expires
while my mom
takes in rainclouds

Pines near the seacoast
hold their scent
until met with an axe

I chop all day

Sleep until morning

IV

In winter

Candles turn from the crack
beneath the door

I’m sitting
adjacent a wooden stove

Heavy with heat
regurgitated

There was once
a time to go out

Now simple trees
shake with calculations
of the coming
Nor’Easter

A shape hidden in the snow

A shift near the lakefront

V

& the tumid winter
melts

Retreats for another year

Sinks down
to the shaded sides
of North river

I wait for the flood
on the back landing
of a neighbor

Our eyes fixed
keenly upstream

There is no howl

No far-off bell
ringing for the roiling water

We wait all night
hoping the fish know where to go

VI

Waves roll
top to bottom all night

& the milky way
wears the horizon
like a girdle

We lay
in the cooling sand

Dig our toes down
looking for moisture

Brine in our lungs
closes our mouths

The fire is out now

I can see history ahead of me

VII

Turn low

Processional howl

A song: boisterous,
love-sick

Grass dries up to grow again

Wind licks away
dust under lamps,
dust under trousers

& under trousers is secret

Sunlight heats up eyelids
& eating becomes a dance

A call & response
to an inside space
that doesn’t let you get warm at night

The cavernous underneath unwound throughout

Nicodemus Nicoludis

Nicodemus Nicoludis is a poet and writer living Brooklyn, NY. He earned his MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and his work appears in Potluck Mag, A Literation, The Luke’s Zine and elsewhere.

You can find his music and book reviews online at Spectrum Culture and on twitter @nicodemvs