Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2022  Vol.21  No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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One of us is still alive and will prove it.

I think of all the fucking
I would not have done
if my father had lived

and I rush to bury him again.
This time I’m wearing a skirt,
both my hands filled with soil.

I throw it like confetti into the gaping
earth of his grave. Here I am: alive,
daughter of a godly man,

dutiful as an anchor,
I would have married a godly man, too,
to please him who I loved so much

I kept his name,
made it the cleanest part
of what he would have named:

dirty. Ask me where I’m going tonight.
I was a child: unbleeding
in my white cotton.

The seed of what has become all this urgent
want was there when we burned him.

I am like that sometimes: heat
where should be comfort; gone
where should be calm, dead
where one might think my smile belongs.

Sometimes I am synapse:
alive only in connection.
I think of all the bodies
and return to the one I love

most. I am a gift
my father gave to me.

His carcass, a dowry
that I might marry myself
as a nun marries and uses
the idea of a god to justify it.

I am in the bed
alone, on the couch
alone, on the floor
alone. If we are fucking, I am
the only god in the room.  

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