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Poetry

He, Pronoun

Everywhere I look I see him,
I have a right to fear for him, 

though I have no right to claim his color.
His blackness is his to own and what will

my mouth say of that sweetness.

Creation Myth

I’m without body but forming in the latticework 

of blood cell and fret. Each threat pulls me upward

tempting and building me until my spine lifts into a column,

Pediophobia

10.

Dad, you look like a doll
I wouldn’t want to play with, boxed
in your casket. The mortician
tried to paint you pretty.
I wanted to be pretty, too, but mom says
makeup is inappropriate for funerals.


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And If I Fall

There’s this cathedral in my head I keep
making from cricket song and
dying but rogue-in-spirit, still,
bamboo. Not making. I keep
imagining it, as if that were the same

Old Ideas


The first poem in Leonard Cohen’s posthumous book The Flame made me laugh. Not because the lyrics are especially funny (although there are touches of Cohen’s characteristic wry humor), and not because the poem is foolish (it’s quite good), but because it is practically a medley of every single theme and obsession Cohen took up over his sixty-year career. Holiness and pussies are just a start. One almost senses him (knowingly, always knowingly) ticking off boxes. Angels and devils: check. Art, sartorial elegance, and slaves: check, check, check. Messianism: check:


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Cleaning

Sorting through the chest’s junk, I happened
on this picture of him, a stranger I lived with 
month-to-month while I looked for something

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