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Tattoos 

He sees me from within, eyes of my music. Light scrapes the insides of my bones, healing so harsh after years of dark, and it is he—dancing, transparent feather. I have felt so much.

Passaic, my father dying: I carry lead in my heart. Lead. The years peel behind our backs like paint, in silence. And yet we love, like rivers—riddled with bullets of dream. We grow larger for the holes in our wishes, where single parents can rest. Larger for our parents’ love, now buried beneath the day’s long page.

Take a walk with me—I don’t care where. I knew you because you listened. To everything I could not say—how words, behind my eyes, pressed against the arc of my tears, how stars turned in my blood, how grief’s paper-thin light cut my tongue.  Mythologies, for anyone who reads. Touch my arm and understand—this life, ripening for you. I wake and forget that I have cried, with only salt to retrace memory.

Salt, salt—life. Take away the pastels and the green lawns, the “Hellos” and suburbia.
Take away the boredom and the easy life--the shoppers trying to be characters. I need the  memory of stone, the stone of speech, Demosthenes’ mortal syncopation. No rivers without cliffs. No jazz without white water.

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