Nik De Dominic

Nik De Dominic writes poems and lives in Los Angeles. He is an editor of New Orleans Review and The Offending Adam.
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Dear Wolf:

Janna says Los Angeles like an old movie star or someone flying in and bringing a couple of keys, with two Es to a Z. I’m not sure where she picked it up. She’s from California. Neither of us despite living in New Orleans for ten years knows how to say New Orleans. In New Orleans, people never turned an age, but made that age. How old you make? I made 21. Life was not passive, but a birthday an achievement. Maybe it has to do something about the French verb faire and the same way people there make groceries. But the French is ‘to have,’ as in I have 21 years. I wonder if how we say a place changes the place. I wonder if how we say a place changes a place.

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Dear Wolf:

I buy donuts after procedures from the fancy donut place. It’s my special treat. The donuts are like four bucks a pop, vegan, and are puns of rock bands – that’s how fancy it is – like the yo la mango (yo la tango) or bannana kill (bikini kill) or gg almond… Everyone in the waiting room of the imaging lab is old and dying and I wonder why they’re trying so hard. Everyone is on their cell phones, talking to kids and loved ones: We’re in LA for Dad’s procedure, dad’s wife says. A couple minutes later, Dad and I are scheduled in rooms next to each other and he’s naked under gown bumbling around the radiology control panel, pissing off the tech, looking for a pen for god knows what. Dad looks like he was old when Kennedy was in office and probably couldn’t find his bellybutton if you asked him to. I wonder what his MRI will find, that he’s dying? Dad knows that. Today I’m here for a CT scan where they will fill me with iodine and it will warm my body from the inside like a strange brandy drunk, first my brain, then my groin and belly, and finally appendages, as the axial x-ray spins around me like a giant rotisserie. It is difficult not to repeat myself in sync with the rhythm of the machine’s hum and the instructions to breathe, I am a jelly donut.

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