Against The Bark

Make me wood.  Make my skin hard-edged and craggy

Make of my heart a dark, lone

 

splinter, the leaves of this sugar maple, my green

armor in July, and let my roots be taken under the earth

 

on which our bodies, years before,

once lay. Teach me the trick of not-being,

 

of wrapping myself in the arms

of absence, make of my mouth, a half-smile

 

numb as a berry long fallen to the ground.

And bring a sparrow to swallow it whole.

by  BABO KAMEL
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