When I get the call about my brother, I'm on a stopped train leaving town & the news packs into me—freight— though it's him on the other end now, saying finefine— Forfeit my eyes, I want to turn away from the hair on the floor of his house & how it got there Monday, but my one heart falls like a sad, fat persimmon dropped by the hand of the Turczyn's old tree. I want to sleep. I do not want to sleep. See, one day, not today, not now, we will be gone from this earth where we know the gladiolas. My brother, this noise, some love [you] I loved with all my brain, & breath, will be gone; I've been told, today, to consider this as I ride the long tracks out & dream so good I see a plant in the window of the house my brother shares with his love, their shoes. & there he is, asleep in bed with this same woman whose long skin covers all of her bones, in a city called Oakland, & their dreams hang above them a little like a chandelier, & their teeth flash in the night, oh, body. Oh, body, be held now by whom you love. Whole years will be spent, underneath these impossible stars, when dirt's the only animal who will sleep with you & touch you with its mouth.
From Kingdom Animalia by Aracelis Girmay. Copyright © 2012 by Aracelis Girmay. Reprinted with permission of BOA Editions. All rights reserved.