Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2011 v10n1
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A Letter to the Midwife from the Boxer

This is punishment, a geyser of blackbirds,
a cruel white dog dissolving into ether.
This is punishment, a rhapsodic animal.

The traffic of ideas is superluminal. A stranger
follows me through crowds hands red
as lilies, vespers from a doorway. What fails us
in this dialogue with the world & its foreign tongue?

Like wind caught in the teeth of the wind,
the only prediction is of further predictions.
Like your spectral narratives,
your teenage blanch at its touch. Murder you

shoot like a love scene, and a love scene like murder
Hitchcock said. I told you there is such punishment
under the insect swarm, the yellow porch light,
you accusing, You’re not yourself.

You’re not yourself without carrying the boy,
now eight, who brings rain. You’re not yourself
in that permanent world of parents shouting.

Punishment is a dark animal that is the best
of yourself. You’re not yourself migrating this early.
The geese take yearly vacations, mate for life.
You’re not goose. You’re not yourself in imperatives,

demanding my cruelest story.
Like the night my mom left me at the Waffle House
when I was six, the fall with a left shoe ½ size

smaller than the right, how it took days to wash
the blood from my laces. You are yourself
biting my lip into purple crescents, sun draping
through white-heat in the mind.

You’re no longer doubting the Theory of Nonlocality
where nothing in the universe is disparate,
falls into black vertices.
Where there exists no concept of the lonely.  end

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