I have taken in many names over the years.
Karry-du-barrie & Sweetie & Treasure. And
Karry & Khar & K. And Bear & Sweetheart
& Love & Snoglet & Dearest & Bebe. Small
suckling names. Pink & soft & naked. Blind
eyed names, the bones still hardening inside.
It is the people I love who bring me names.
They carry them nipped between their teeth
like newborn mice and lay them at my feet
all squirming & needy. My presence is their
milk. Who would have thought I could bear
such helpless offerings.
I have lost most of my names. Some defect,
others wither and perish. Many are crushed
underfoot. Bear & Sweetheart & Love &
Snoglet & Dearest. And Khar & K. And
Karry-du-barrie & Sweetie & Treasure.
The mess of skin and blood and bone is
intolerable. I wonder how
do you keep names from dying like this.
The Words Said
do you remember
the words said and the acts committed /
how it felt to have to ask
do you love me /
how it felt to have to leave
you there /
jesus christ /
what degradation are we not capable of /