from The Brokenness Sonnets I
My head is atomic with unspoken thought.
My heart a river that strains its banks until
released by seizure. Nothing changes — I wet
myself, I grow older. And while I pace
behind my body’s bars like Rilke’s panther,
hands soothe me, hold me, wipe from my face
my failed speech — I am loved. But still,
like a tree trapped in eternal winter,
I am time-twisted, rain falling inward,
with never a spring, not one flowering word.
Not even love will free a single finger
for my poems blue as the sky, blue as the rain,
to spread wings and fly from an alphabet board.
Under my skin I have a different name.
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