at mos


there is always an invisible force
even when alone – together
even when alone – alone
there is always an invisible force
conducts our every impulse

i think of you ceaselessly
ceaselessly you are large and vast
as the ocean itself by itself
shapeless without a creature
inside, not a single cell, one

molar tooth of matter other than water
hydrogen – oxygen – hydrogen
a t o m s
a t m o s

a t  m o s




and this, multiple lacerations, this stings
like a mutherfucking skate, the kind
that cuts across the ocean
bottom like butter
before it’s dipped in a secret
batter and fried
golden delicious
to a crisp, served with apple
compote at my favorite star
restaurant — classy, keepin’
it world class, this skate
a substitute for the real thing, the sting
out of my price range.

but it’s easy to be a cry baby
over it, get it, tiny dings
incur tiny debt (too small
for the naked
lens to kaptcha), it was only
the cat’s miaow, if only i’d gone
to the bank, was my only
security the shore line or was it
consolation, your voice
only carries across the crowd
when the dunes, as soon
as day break, begin as the next
cycle of elections begin
cuts back to corral the fallen
wishy washy morale, sooty
tree, company, decree
what greed? — i’ve none. i blink
and you do not believe, deep
(breathe, hon) diving in the sea
bell bottoms, slight
aberration, bronzen kiss
the brazen sun: it is an equation
and everything adds up, ocean




saliva in the usual sense, suspect
the worn and warm, fight like
with like and be just, like the sub
her name the Butt of every body
jokes, germs, antibodies, i mean
her name was Butt (or was it Butte)
in any case, we weren’t old enough
to distinguish, not that we have youth
or germ enough to climb, mountains to voice
the ocean, your voice, though nothing
can excuse our absence
of kind, in time, they are kin
and subsequent, such, and so, therefore
if logic is proven, the feminine
sequence yet again prevails, to be noble
or noblesse within a strain
which school of fish, in a petri
dish, silly little cluster, is
to die for (but you know) people
do crazy things to return and plenty
die for its multiple valences
just — as an electron forgets — finally
entropy, finally how (passive) to forget
the past and the future is a present,
and in every present every atom is broken
into the ocean, broken like an egg
into a pearl grey hot stone bowl sizzling
sunny side up (unknown sibling
rivalry) that glare
of a machine gun with wings
unmanned, unmoored at noon.




insoluble planes of feeling so very
mutable, the temperature of cat
positive on its own, in a crowd, in the lurch
time rush hour pedestrian
traffic, pedestrians are hazardous
chemistries, contained
in the vision of an atom, the middle
distance from the inner surface
of the rind to the outer
fuzzy surface of peach,
rub it off, shake it down,
tear it loose, the lashings sting
like a mutherfucking skate
skirting across the deep ocean floor —
place you haven’t even dreamed —
underestimate the ability to breathe
under all conditions
any and all forever, infinity
trapped and free without limits, it is not just
the body, if only composure
could save us, because there is no way, you can’t get calmer
than this cutthroat eel, creeping sleek and stark,
dark anise snipe
in the ocean’s inmost (secret) secret parts
it is just: a just temper that will pass,
if only, into the immediate past, laying hot
coral stones onto our paths as long as trees —




collecting in this reservoir, parting
bite, absolute
clarity for one
you are a stone
and i toss
like the moon tossing looks at the sun
above the ocean wave
lengths the size of a tractor
opera football field
open field plein air plenty
plain, and overhead planters
wingspans trample underfoot —
it has all been here
before (crashing cymbals)
monumental soft the world
negligible, felt, glazed like fat, like tai
pei, peace, the pacific
ocean, ripe core of apple
crocodile tastes
like gnaw on this, precious mine
all the gems collected from the sea
floors cannot rival
the fallen gold
hinge of door
a sound




red from a smile
between my limbs
the vividness of life depends
on the color of all things
as a reflection of
what’s up
(hey) i’m looking for
the shallow, outer truth
sweet angel of coincidence
absolute quadratic
hook line and sinker
given two aqua merino stones
diamond cut stone arch
diocese of the central
pillar, intelligence
between two puffs of
air, gem (i can breathe)




there are constellations
and there are constellations
on the ocean bottom, sun
spots illumined, lit up
(and that is why) it is not
another world, it is here
this monumental
pattern, your neck
a slight but strong whiff
swung in across and around, beneath
beaten gold by the sun
light, and up above your eyes
are a shield, split in two
faraway there is a war,
raging even as it has already won.




and i know you are not in love
with a permanent marker
quadruped, hooved encephalo
pod, unicellular
muscular­ – skeletal
organism, organ of song
sung organza dress
i’d like to try on
your possessions,
gardenias, bloom
dark spots of noon
deep sea divers who
encounter no wonder
no purple ambulance
it is shrill, this
sound of mind
smooth as wind strokes
itself and the speed
of a freeway chase to rescue




divide creeping myrtle by its commonest denomination
and i prefer a view, flower —
spare us, do not shower with love
the found sub – atomic matter
is particularly fond (you
know) of subtraction
as its own kind of expression,
purplish mustard gold leaf,
dirty blood nuggets from the del mar
fetching a fair, here lies in wait
a boat, the price, easily
given and easily without
a house, the horse, with a view
the polluted atmos
bright star, breath – taking
corrugated ash
double – layer extra




the skin, broken, is composed
of successions of misreadings,
orb, bright long woolly corridor
dare not accept truths in suppression
minor key insurrection
take your pick, it is me
or a reputation, wrap around
infinity, cobra
your body, snail, heads of state
get on your knees and wash
the rivers clean, just like that
say water, and i am broke
i am a naturalist and that is why —




in reaction to the accusation of being
reactive, super radioactive
radar – enforced ultra ultra
border upon border upon our limits to be
to be allowed inside
the building on lock – down
flashing blue and white
voluntary in voluntary
idols climbing backward and back up
among the tree tops, the view
parts a wide berth, aspect
ratio sixteen : nine, after the ocean
everything is derivative save us, after
cinema (i could care less), everything burns
that cannot touch: the atomic
structure of a covalent bond is no more
predictable in no fewer than any other movement
you have incited, you have nursed to health
and maturity, you have protested then set fire to the same
loving forest of ours belonging
these woods this lake, unchecked growth, the cells
of our body (every body) is capable
every cell has chemical memory
some mines doomed to staring
into redness, waving into the canyon by the desert
skirting sea, i am waiting for the day to break
That is the day i am waiting for
When i stop seeing you as the world
And the world as capital









a t  m o s


Erica Zhang blogs at Modern Jargon, tweets @rrrle, and happily takes mixtape requests.

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