Quills

I don’t know if the language belongs to me,
or I belong to the language;
it may all be one and the same,
and for certain we were born of
the same mother, she who embraces us
with a smile before putting her head
in the gas oven. She thinks it’s funny.

It probably is.

But these words are the heavy fingertips
and tongues of flame with which I
make love to the world,
a wild boy who’s no good for me,
but earns my fondness
nonetheless,
for his rakish grin, and the
jaunty angle of his fragility,
his sneering emotional limp,
and the way he laughs
inappropriately
at funerals, a sure sign of
hope
indefatigable.

I have been reciting,
wielding,
this alphabet forwards and backwards,
although more frequently the latter,
despite being far from sober, and
refusing
to walk the straight line,
nor toe it, either.

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