My First Words

January, February were the months of good packing snow,

packing snow on my crippled carcass

in cumbersome coats.

I lay there and let your bitter cover me.

I let my lips,

chapped and blue,

morph together,

seal shut like glue,

like the carpenters use when they don't want

a certain piece to move.

And they didn't.


March, April, May were the months of creeping sunlight

peeking a reluctant eye around

your murky and abysmal clouds.

I let you try to gag me with them.

I let my lips,

cool and soft,

open slightly to see the sun,

open enough to let a whisper of words rest between them

—weeds growing in the crack of the sidewalk.

Maybe there was something more than clouds.

And they searched for more.


June, July, August were the months of heat waves,

baking and breaking my body into bole

after you floated away momentarily.

I let you try to cloak me again.

I let my lips,

steaming and malleable

from the torridity of the burning truth above,

melt into the mold of my own making.

All they needed was to wait for you to wave a cool wind my way,

like a red hot tiger getting ready to play with its frigid, rigid prey.

And they waited.


September, October, November, December were the months of changes,

changes in weather and temperature and winds

and minds.

I let you cower beneath my own clouds for a change.

I let my lips,

the eye of the storm,

swallow you up in my whirlwind of words.

I let them bite and sting and sink their teeth in

every lie you ever told me

for I had opened my mouth for the first time and I had seen.

And, boy, it will never close again.

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