Taxonomic Confessions by Nate Braeuer

Silhouette of man against dusky sky
Photo by Joran Quinten on Unsplash


I mix up the names of common furniture pieces
like cupboards and cabinets, closets and shelves

And bureaus. And Ursas, both major and minor

Armoires. To know only of somethingness—

I can’t name one star and I’ve waited so long
for these cupped hands to dip they’ve grown stoic

I lie down in night frost

           the twin clotheslines above
cross like high wires

                        for timid constellations

I feel space like I’ve reached

             the cold region of a cabinet—

I watch keyholes flicker starlight

                        from a closet

If I could rise to the skyline

             cast deep in my head
through all the drapes and the curtains

                         and the blinds

beyond all the known names

             for the knobs or the nebulas
or the hush hidden wheels

                         that move drawers—

lies the almost-here memory

            of a time when the eye
absolved all it could see

                         into beginning

Nate Braeuer
Nate Braeuer came to poetry through songwriting, through Texas, New York and Charlottesville. He’s read poetry all his life and began to find lines of his own in dog walks, parking lots and dishwashing. These poems were born on suburban streets at night. Many thanks to the WriterHouse in Charlottesville for their support.

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One thought on “Taxonomic Confessions by Nate Braeuer”

  1. tight poem, Nate. futility of naming, cabinetry and cosmos machinery whirring away from start to finish. gonna watch for your stuff, in the future

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