Speculations About "I" (audio only)
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Recorded at the Chancellors Reading, Poets Forum 2015. NYU Skirball Center. New York City.
Can a simple dress become a coping mechanism?
—NPR August 18, 2020
So many years of misguided self-reflection,
examining every curve in the mirror! Alone,
locked down, I buy online three ice blue
nightgowns I discover I can live in. I glide
through living room, dining room, hall, off the floor
Because there is too much to say
Because I have nothing to say
Because I don’t know what to say
Because everything has been said
Because it hurts too much to say
What can I say what can I say
Something is stuck in my throat
Something is stuck like an apple
How much like angels are these tall gladiolas in a vase on my coffee table, as if in a bunch whispering. How slender and artless, how scandalously alive, each with its own humors and pulse. Each weight- bearing stem is the stem of a thought through which aspires the blood-metal of stars. Each heart is a gift for the king. When I was a child, my mother and aunts would sit in the kitchen gossiping. One would tip her head toward me, “Little Ears,” she’d warn, and the whole room went silent. Now, before sunrise, what secrets I am told!—being quieter than blossoms and near invisible.