I was tangerine inside the mosque.
Lit up inside, of several generations.
By being tangerine, I was also olive beneath my skirts,
made of bamboo inside the bones and
frayed cheesecloth at the fingertips.
By being a girl and not a color and made up of pencils,
curly fries and shot by a man on horseback somewhere.
By being joined together at the hips with starlight or jackfruit,
now bowed at the knees inside an ocean’s spray.
Lacking a lisp in consonants.
The pith of a fig, inside a honeydew.
Keeping time inside the mouth, counting sugar grains,
arriving at the ph of a jackal’s tear.
Neither color nor thing, a slice of jade.
The color of before a tree.
Tucked into a catacomb, tied together with poison ivy or twine.
The skin peels without sunlight or shade.
I bleed silk curtains and cinnamon sticks,
words being both perfume and
antipathy, built to last.
Out of a fish called
inside the day a boat collapsed
made of dry sand and rushes
the sky broke
into one thousand self portraits
and disappeared like a wound in the smallest
hint of wind
from inside the fish’s eye
rows of corn were black not white
a ball bounced and echoed itself just the way
a hundred tumblers fell against a hundred keys
and even the alphabet was stunned
when I laughed and I did it right out of my belly
a canoe tipped
and let the salt out of the sea
the sun ran to attend, the frogs leapt out of their beds
but I couldn’t help it
and I couldn’t stop
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