12 Answers

(after Bhanu Kapil)

I haven't stopped trying to love the one who feels that now 
they cannot love me back

A long night is made of dozens of years, all the earth's 
clocks tolling

Every day I pour water into a glass, take a fork out of a drawer, 
comb through a forest of thought

When there was nothing preordained it was possible to hope

Sometimes I look at a milk carton and think of limbs 
stuffed under a bed

I hated children's taunts, perhaps the worst one 
about being picked out of a dustbin

How can one believe not all mothers are the patron 
saints of suffering

My body, like a roll of dough folded over and over, 
wanting to rise and be sweet

There is a roof of stars, a citadel of roses trying to soften 
their sting

I was used to small vials with stoppers, but I've learned 
where the torrents live in my voice

No black, no grey, no white, only jasmine and saffron; I try 
to gather a usefulness of facts, but only manage to amass 
pigments in small boxes, a book for every possible train ride

They'll say everything has happened before, as if we are 
merely repeatable; as if there are no hidden marks on our bodies

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