Remember Nim Chimpsky,
in his red knit sweater,
the chimpanzee that thought
he was human, learned to sign stone
when he wanted to smoke a joint?
Not made for complex language,
later he lived alone,
sad and immobile, inside a pen.
He asked for beer and oranges.
Give orange me give eat orange me eat
orange give me eat orange give me you.
You may be going blind,
my doctor’s words bite me:
yellow deposits of drusen in the eye,
and I rush to order the nutrients
he claims are my only hope,
capsules too big to swallow.
I shuffle between writing directives
for when I am dead, and wanting
to bonfire the papers.
If I were a pine, my rough barked arms
would stretch toward the sun.
I wouldn’t worry about eyes or words.
They’re selling pods now,
to grow death’s ashes into trees.
Give capsule me give swallow
capsule me swallow capsule give me
swallow capsule give me you.
Susana H. Case is the author of five full-length books of poetry, most recently Drugstore Blue (Five Oaks Press, 2017), as well as four chapbooks. Her first collection, The Scottish Café, from Slapering Hol Press, was re-released in a dual-language English-Polish version, Kawiarnia Szkocka, by Opole University Press in Poland. Case is a Professor and Program Coordinator at the New York Institute of Technology in New York City.