she wanted to be....                                            heaven to him


[his side]                                                                                               [her side]

she wanted to be of the race                                       —this poisoned place,

                                         of beauty                                                 I know it’s

       as though beauty itself could be                                       heaven to him—

                    a raceless race                                                              but what if

            of the desired                                                               there never was

                             so touchable                                                        an america

it could beto discover—

                             almost real—                                                              what if

she wanted art to lift her                                                      there is no wound

     beyond her skin                                                                              like this,

          (not erase her                                                                           the gaffe

          in casting color schemes)                                                    the ache that

as though she could belong                                                        the unyielding

          like anyone                                                                          father leaves

                among the dancers                                             like a sudden falling

                                        beloved                                                               pall,

   in desolations keen as her ribs                          the earth underfoot gives way

losing what little there was to                                           snow quivering over

     show through sweats and tees                                             sidewalks swirls

          for someone else’s future                                         spelling words with

                          (anyone else’s—)                                                  cursive crystal

                         if only                                                                      letters that

     she trained deeper                                                                       I read as if

                stretched farther                                                     he could’ve been

              till she smiled aglow                                                        a better man

          flowing smoother rhythms                                        but he was security

despite fractured                                                                     crutches of cash

        selves between                                                              that never replace

                   night/day moods                                                          one’s mind

        between two tongues                                                                   at peace

                   (her mother’s fading,                                like the unheard singing

                   and an other’s racing)                                                   of the stars

        hanging on                                                                     stuck with velcro

                        a rope of why                                               to their heaven—

was it such torture to just be                                                            our father

                                            or not                                                          whose

         another picture of                                                       bring-down comes

bedraggled waif whatever’s done

too ethereal, lost to and                                                            on earth as it is

      poisoned for any life                                                                    forever—

          where her love                                                                        who never

                   and loved ones                                                              forgives us

                                welcomed her                                          our trespasses—