What is that arm reaching up inside
to grab at my throat, to keep it
from sobbing? Will you come out and play?
I want to ask it — but what if it has
no body with which to leap forth,
like the deer in the old stories, evading capture,
or the hart after a wildebeest has mangled it?
Where do the inanimate parts gain their voices?
I have not been myself. Or, like my dead friend,
I’ve trapped my own silence and now refuse
to release it, no matter that my eyes droop,
dipping like ducks for bread, no more shame
involved in retrieving, in receiving something new
out of the air. Still, I will not give in. Like
my guide, if I have something to say, I will not
cower, just because another glares at me.
We can’t make those we want desire us —
thus, kindness is no longer called for here
but rapture. You are not allowed. You
are not allowed. You are not
John’s latest book of poetry, Have At You Now! from WordTech Communications, was reviewed here on Burlesque Press by Daniel Wallace. Have At You Now! is available for purchase here.