The Girl Can Sing (Poem)

THE GIRL CAN SING

for amy, coco & nai

raise me

sanctify                                                                             this gravel

rolling in the back of my                                           throat

the first time I opened my mouth

I realized how close I could be to                         the sky

this voice

a turbine engine

the first time he saw me, I was nothing

special. but then I opened my mouth &

he realized how he could dig himself in.

this voice

a troubadour’s dreadlocked sheets

extension of hip, finger,                                last night

the first time I saw myself, I burned envious of

paper—what a blessing to be plain, white, & flat.

then I remembered the value of paper is what

one does with it.

this voice

origami, sloppy love note

bold stroke, last page in your diary

first dollar, where my body                        opens up

this voice

broken high heel

a psalm forgotten, dusty phonograph

a dirty martini, dry

river of mascara, in the closet,

the only thing that’s ever belonged to me

& I still                                                                 give it away.

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