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from thirsty

Dionne Brand
From:   thirsty. Toronto: McClelland &: Stewart, 2002

I

This city is beauty

unbreakable and amorous as eyelids,

in the streets, pressed with fierce departures,

submerged landings,

I am innocent as thresholds

and smashed night birds, lovesick,

as empty elevators



let me declare doorways,

corners, pursuit, let me say

standing here in eyelashes, in

invisible breasts, in the shrinking lake

in the tiny shops of untrue recollections,

the brittle, gnawed life we live,

I am held, and held



why, the touch of everything blushes me,

pigeons and wrecked boys,

half dead hours, blind musicians,

inconclusive women in bruised dresses

even the habitual gray-suited men with terrible

briefcases, how come, how come

I anticipate nothing as intimate as history



would I have had a different life

failing this embrace with broken things,

iridescent veins, ecstatic bullets, small cracks

in the brain, would I know these particular facts,

how a phrase scars a cheek, how water

dries love out, this, a thought as casual

as any second eviscerates a breath



and this, we meet in careless intervals,

in coffee bars, gas stations, in prosthetic

conversations, lotteries, untranslatable

mouths, in versions of what we may be,

a tremor of the hand in the realization

of endings, a glancing blow of tears

on skin, the keen dismissal in speed




Dionne Brand's works copyright © to the author.


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