American Sonnet For My Past And Future Assassin

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When walking hope is a swagger
When sleeping hope is a lullaby
When breathing hope is oxygen
When drunk hope is liquor
When dirty hope is water
When unfilled hope is a well
When unwell hope is medicine
When impatient hope is patience
When lonely hope is company
When poor hope is money
When hungry hope is meat
When hunted hope is a knife
When angry hope is a blade
When wounded hope is what heals me.

Terrance Hayes is the author of Lighthead, winner of the 2010 National Book Award.

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