Six Questions

* Who was responsible for the suffering of your mother?

When she was locked up in her own house,
the neighbors said they heard her crying out for help.
The people she lived with (her own blood) told everyone
she was losing her faculties. Imagining things.
Now imagine a room without a light bulb. 

* What is the shape of your body?

I dream of a cello and the way it is held. 
The warm wood sound of its voice.
The answering echo.

* How will you live now?

What an illusion, to have turned back the clocks.
But what a veil the early light weaves 
for when you open your eyes.

* What are the consequences of silence?

When someone asks you to give up something
and you hear a door closing in the sky.

* How will you/have you prepared for your death?

There will never be enough bookshelves.

* What would you say if you could?

Haven't you always wanted the beautiful thing
that you could almost hold?

[Note: as a lead-in to the 12-year anniversary Sunday, 
20 November 2022, of my writing at least a poem a day, 
I decided to use Bhanu Kapil's famous "12 Questions" 
as a prompt. There are the first six. My students in Advanced 
Poetry Workshop and I have been using it too, also because 
one of our course texts this semesteer was Chen Chen's 
Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency— 
he also uses "12 Questions" for a number of poems in his new book.]

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