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Persona

Claire Schwartz
3 Snaps

I was born and stitched with cousins. They put myth
in my pocket and a tune on my tongue. Wherever he went,
my grandfather carried a capsule of cyanide. Now his language
is dead. As I was saying. I was born there. I named it
unfreedom. I trimmed my unwieldy parts and deposited them
elsewhere. I tasked elsewhere with my thriving. I grew up
and drove there. I said, here, self, thrive. During sex, I think
of the rubber wrestler who bloats in a glass of water. The problem
is: once I am there it becomes here. Still it does not become
me. I’m at a loss. To fill my lack, I have two-and-a-half
children. I raise them in a dead language. That will serve them
better in the long run. It hurts most when I give birth
to the fence. Immaculate concept. Home hems me in.
I can’t go back. It’s no longer there. I charge my mother
with my cowardice. I put a moon in this poem. I charge it with beauty.

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