An Introduction to American Pathology (Remix) by Alan Chazaro

I’m lost and wandering in a forest of blue gum 

eucalyptus trees and fog horns in San Francisco 

while listening to Baby Keem’s The Sound 

of Bad Habit. For fun, I think about 

which X-Men character I would be 

if I were a Caucasian male. But I’m not, and haven’t 

imagined hard enough. Instead, I’ve given myself

permission to name the future ULTRA DARK 

GALACTIC WOLF because isn’t naming our days

some type of self-love? I don’t understand 

how the world reveals itself to us, how 

a damaged moon returns every Wednesday 

night, sickled. I hoard fragments 

from empty hours like an unsolved litany: Hisoka 

in Hunter x Hunter; Kyle’s Army veteran 

tattoos; turbulence from Spokane 

to Oakland; the smallest creases in the leather 

fabric of my Jordan 1s; my wife’s cousin who works 

as a prison guard in North Dakota in-between 

his college seminars. I look to my left and see crimson. I look 

to my right and see vanilla. Funny part is 

I’m not a good fighter but often find myself

in good fights. Funny part is we’re all

in this fight now. It’s not that complicated: 

I no longer know what’s killing me or what

part of me is turning 

neon. I no longer trust 

the shadows in our hills.

Alan Chazaro is the author of This Is Not a Frank Ocean Cover Album (Black Lawrence Press, 2019) and Piñata Theory (Black Lawrence Press, 2020). He is a graduate of June Jordan’s Poetry for the People program at UC Berkeley, a former Lawrence Ferlinghetti Fellow at the University of San Francisco, and the co-founding editor of HeadFake, an online NBA zine. 

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