I know no music for how a country should end.
I no longer want to be pretty for you. Not even for
myself. If I must watch you burn while performing
my own arias, then I will watch you burn with my
throat. If I must sing another world to live, then my
tongue arrives earlier than the final star in this brief
stretch of time called a self. In the classroom today,
another child practices purring. On all fours, she
crawls up to me and presses her hair and ears against
my leg: and it is the truest thing to happen to my skin.
I move back to scold her. She laughs. And I laugh
with need. I needed you, America. I needed to speak
another world into my lungs. This piercing instrument
of my clavicles stretched towards sunrise—they sing
for you my throat phlegming from tar to tongue, sing
for you my lips brushing yours, burning and black.