first voice

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with a sadly smile I’m
watching you escape
finally from my beauty bruising
lips
and knowing
knowing you will freely fly
with scorched and soaring certainty
to these temples of our earth
and other earths and learn
all my mistakes, mischance teaching
understand the womb with
teeth from which you leapt
so surely
wings you borrow from charcoal
portraits of first voice before you
circles manifesting everywhere they
come from the ground and keep
rise until they
bounce right off the
sky’s the limit isn’t
it?
disappearing you and your
smudge and shout depart to
whisper English into English
ears and hearts and past that into
space and stars and staring
lovely lonely things that I don’t
knowing and to
know you I am grateful
and sure of your velocity
among expected and expecting
much more that your usual
excellency
I know all of how you
scream and songs
you teach
me as I used to fall asleep
in pieces
you broke so many times
and proud of you now for
reclaiming brilliance no
gods could take you from me
and telling you of how
you came to be
from me, just me, I
know that story, you
know your duty
to tell that story and others
stories again and again maybe
you’ll heal America’s
broken throat, or escape
to rainy salty cities over
seas of lights and tasting
how many sprained limbs and bruised
consciousness will you see and sort and save
before returning
if you do
to me to nestle
precariously between what’s sure to be
two softened tired arms
devoid of teeth and instead
full of something
sharper waiting
for the gun to sound.

Light’s fading now I squint to
seeing you fearless flee I know
you’ll be exactly
fine and more than that you’ll find
exactly
what we needed
to survive.





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