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Oral History, Vol. 37

by Jason Myers
Illustration by Cecilia Castelli

Oral History, Vol. 37

Jason Myers
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I woke in the wreck of history

still drowsy, a dryness in my

bed, my bones. Would you

like fingers, the Lord asked,

& gave me plenty. There was

no music, no garden in them.

I wanted to be touched the way

I had touched, delicately, but

with great passion. If you want

another kind of lover, Leonard

Cohen crooned. Not my will,

Martin Luther King intoned,

but God’s. I wanted a word

for every surface, for the belly

& the underbelly, the line between

the lines. There was a secret

name inside every living thing,

a song underneath every song.

What happened then, I asked,

meaning both before & next.

The Lord said Kabul. Said

manifest destiny. Said Rembrandt

said Bordeaux said Dakota

said Chelsea Hotel said Egyptian

cotton said Homer. The Greek

poet, I asked. No. Homer Plessy.

Oh, I said. I see. But I did not.

Lulls, curtains, continuations.

You want company, the Lord asked,

& made New Orleans, oceans,

rye bread, Cointreau. There

were some companions sent

by another party. There were

days smothered in solitude,

nights when I thought, if only

I could sleep, if only…but I

could not complete the sentence.

Are you hungry, the Lord asked.

Oh my. Oh yes. Oh my yes.

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