dissonances, 2020

there is so much i want to remember, that i can’t,
about my other iterations.
there is so much i want to forget that i can’t,
because i carry it on my skin
and on the hair that raises on the back of my neck
when i least expect it.

there is so much to learn that contradicts itself,
and so much to unlearn
that leaves me without knowing.

without knowing as a verb.
without knowing as a noun.
without grammar that dictates hierarchical authorities
through my own tongue.
without a mother tongue that caresses me with forgotten songs
and sounds i never knew
and that even then,
are so familiar.

with dissonances between knowings
and not knowings.
with dissonances between wantings
and accountabilities.
with dissonances between retributions
and dignity.
asking what might be more radical:
subverting labels until making them arbitrary,
or embodying labels until they stop mattering.

moths, nocturnal butterflies
dazzled by that light
that promises what is intrinsic
in its own destruction.


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