Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2018  Vol. 17 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Thirstiness is Not Equal Division

I swear to God I swear at GodI won’t
mention what He does to meI lack nothing I need
unless you count everything I wantI’m meant
to be spreading tenderness over the earth like seeds
like wormsinstead I’ve been shoveling coal
into burning housesfanning the ashhold your
applausehold the horns curling out from my skull
which are getting so long now and so sharpif you think
of evolution as ancestral advicethen a baby’s eyelids
drooping from fruitsugar could mean this world
is too sweet to bear awakegive me an orgy of sleep
give me sleep from every anglefor years I stood
in the semeny ginkgo staring at my handsbelieving
in afterlivesthinking one day I’d wake into
a new kind of bodylike a fish suddenly
breathing air through its eyesit’s easy to give life
as a giftpull a fisherman from frozen water or
put a puppy in a Christmas boxbut it’s harder
to remember stillness is also a prizeconsider
the composer’s fever and the aria it delivered
or the beggar who woke to find a jewel
in his palmonce I saw a girl’s death mask smoothed
by the kisses her father gave it nightlyonce
I cut open my thigh on a razor wire fence and filled
the wound with Kleenexsomehow it healed leaving
only a long white scarthe penalties for my disregard
have always been oversoftdeterring nothing
I’ve made it clear I am not to be trusted with a body
always leaving mine bloodless as icewith just a needle
of breath left in its lungssometimes when I run
I run like a beautiful manin straight lines clean
as spidersilksometimes if I’m silent for long enough
even the wild around me stops moving