My Cousin

February 17, 2018
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My cousin


was a beat.
My cousin was a disruption.
My cousin was a freight train.

My cousin was a dismantled
key lock; a lightbulb; a pen,
an overgrown bush, a forgotten mailbox.

My cousin never had hair.
My cousin was a basket
that never saw its bottom.

My cousin loved to play catch
and eat outside. My cousin arrived
the earliest. My cousin was a matchbox.

My cousin awoke all the trees.
My cousin awoke a cliff diver,
a doctor, a nymphomaniac, an old grandmother

with no beautiful ending, a thrill seeker,
a tattoo artist. My cousin awoke the dead
every day; he was a spell. My cousin

was attentive. He was warm,
a little too compact: one… two… three.
He used me. He didn’t use me.

He sways and carries weight.
Has embarked on journeys. Far away.
My cousin was jovial. My cousin

was a wire. Showed me
how to bend. Because of him, I lean towards
things that are out of my reach. Because of him, I loosely

smoke. Because of him, I find the beauty.
Because of my cousin, I know how
to braid my hair; don’t own a phone.

Because of my cousin, I have no use for
napkins. Because of my cousin, I clean up
my own messes.

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