Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Struggle for the word, the just right word
you would stamp on me
on my forehead spine bottom of my foot
on me.
I try them on, try them all, see if I can wear them
these words
these words you use to name me
to name us,
if there is an us,
a concept that makes my mouth dry, my tongue stick in its place
unable to speak any words now at all.
So so precise because choosing the wrong word
or even
the not-quite-right word, the less-than-perfect word
would be, for me, an excuse for tears.
Try them on, discard, try again,
prefix hats and ending shoes, adjective bracelets and adverb hair ribbons.
And slowly, slink a piece of silk satin over my hips,
my calloused hands pull it up,
settle it on my shoulders, smooth it on my torso, zip it up.
This word I will wear as a shield buttress gossamer nightrail


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