What I really mean is I’ve been biting my tongue
so hard I’ve left a sore so deep it hurts to speak.
Karma from the universe, I suppose. She has
a knack for double-checking that she gives back
what is owed. What I mean is I am trying to be
more easy moonlight, soft velvet of a beagle’s ears.
More rocking chair on a chilly August evening,
graceful flight of a hummingbird, vanishing.

If poverty is having a soul predisposed to hate,
I have nothing in my pockets. I have burned all
the way through the fabric and my spare change
has long ago spilled onto the grimy floor of some
subway station. When I tell you I am trying
to be a better person, I mean forgiveness is not
programmed in my nature. I am more raging inferno
than rush of water. I could never become a cloistered
nun, could never obey that vow of silence. I tell you

I am trying to be a better person. For you I’d unclench
my jaw, loosen my death grip, relax my fist. I adore you
enough to give peace a try. To be your hummingbird
heart, soft velvet, easiest moonlight you’ll ever know.

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