Dear woman, listening with your mouth

pursed into a false ear, which cannot—


despite the clarity with which my sisters,

who are poets & so precise


as an incision, describe how they are called

out of their blood into the same work—


get over how both women tower

gracefully & both, of course, are black


so become, in your mouth, mother

& child, had to share a body


been the same person. I suppose I’m grateful

when I can leave myself for long enough


to let a stranger or a love inside me, to be held

open as a tunnel for all the midnight traffic


or only you, whose face is not my face

until it is by some dark magic & oh, boy.


Dear dear boi. Whose body I slip into,

wear as a jacket against the rain.

Cam Awkward-Rich is the author of Sympathetic Little Monster and a doctoral candidate in modern thought and literature at Stanford University.

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