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Friday, April 21, 2017

Dear Daniel—

I wanted for          so long to sing songs      for you, to grieve
the way I knew my mother      did,      my father did,   if they
still do, I couldn’t     know—When you died   you were here
waiting in the red    for me to see you—     I dressed you in a
crinoline dress      gold applique    hearts—    I smeared  kohl
over your lids   because kohl    is the makeup  of myth and I
wanted you to see me see you         odorous theory of human
and      I thought you could    pucker  your life back from not
breathing—Not     ever breathing—Did you know the envy I
felt, I am     afraid of this     admittance    but I would squeeze
my girlhands around my throat       just to know your burden
the plague of too many gone minutes         snuffing your skin
a purple anthem       speechless constriction,    a life I begged
for, the one     where life is    already mourned and     ready—
You couldn’t know      what it is   to stub your toe,    to wring
hands around a wheel      tempted by incoming        lights, the
curse of the body   is: to really want to stay    you must endure
the extraordinary,   you know  be more plant than          stone,
know that to live     you must face    your own light       ripped
from light—    As a girl   I attempted the resuscitation of grass,
I leaned it over     my palm like a    limp fainted    woman,  yes
I knew already     what it was like    the dead leaned girl over a
ledge,    I would push     my finger    into the green bodyblade—
It was      my most human   moment,    to    inflict      violence  
as I regret     the pain I caused, the guilt    a cold draft    giving
my organs     fresh release—     You never breathed   you never
had to    —      I sang   made-up    songs about          baseball, on
wanting to teach you       mortal coils, scraped        dirt knees—
There has been      a pebble     just under the skin of       my left
kneecap    and  I think it might be you  and I think of my bones
the body in the dirt      the flesh    given away       to other earth,
I imagine the pebble      how long it will take it     to drop from
my body  having traveled so far  unceremoniously new again—

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