The Second He | Nathaniel Rosenthalis | Granta

The Second He

Nathaniel Rosenthalis

‘Don’t be so careful,’ Dan said to me, the second he
slammed the blue hatchback’s back down.
The speed he picked up, from there to here, became a demo.
I liked to play the footage back:
I was withstanding (I was grieving
the disappearing he was doing) that life, because of how
we were together. The same shut-eyed look
his face became when he walked away, in sun-
light, following a line.


‘Maybe all I have to be’s myself more strange and
true,’ I said, in a mirror
manner. It was early spring. The magenta snow shovel leaned against
the white railing. A yellow one, better, sturdier,
with range, also. It was like early spring. ‘Same
thing.’ Like a bad faith actor at the end of his line. ‘Maybe
maybe not.’ The slow local flora and
fauna didn’t belong then. I opened my eyes.
Pieces of the words disappearing all the
time. The show of shoes. ‘Careful.’ Car-ful.


Image © Sam Ramsay

Nathaniel Rosenthalis

Nathaniel Rosenthalis is the author of two forthcoming full-length collections, I Won't Begin Again (Burnside Review Press, 2023) and The Leniad (Broken Sleep Books, 2023). He is a singer, actor, and poet who lives in New York City.

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