(modeled after Daphne Gittolieb's "Why Things Burn")
The sun’s reign came to an end
when its arms no longer know
when to rise and when
Somewhere in the heavens,
87 constellations threw an uprising.
I was there. When I walked beneath
your canopy of blue, your pistols
cocked towards the light.
You knew I was singing
lovers song, fighters
song, muzzle against my temple.
There is no difference
between the sun’s blood
sunshine and starshine. I am a body
fevers and you are of dead
philosophers. If we sing proud,
it’s an anthem.
I am so leaden, people have carved
constellations on me: Corvus. Corona
Australis. They bleed
opium smoke. Lovers song,
You tell me to kneel
and vow: ‘telescope,’ ‘empty
night.’ As you pointed
your silver sword of Polaris
a manifesto, I plucked a pair of astronomers'
eyes. Inky. Certain. All seeing.
We were brighter in golden
aiguillettes and it rained mahogany tears
till the sun set. 87 constellations
threw an uprising
in the heavens.
I never heard the battle cries.
Till the sun set, I held my witness
unmoved, like promises
waiting to be broken.
The hum of a patient amp
wraps around your moving lips
A silent symphony screams in my ears
but grows silent
as the clean ring of a guitar
flows from your dancing fingers
Dial up the gain
I can hear the toast crumbs
against chilling marmalade
hear the sing of smoke-ridden lungs
with the crisp chirp of an early bird.
steel strings warmed
from fleeting fingers sliding up
and down the brisk wooden limb
waking up from its slumber.
Soft groove of a joystick
sweaty plastic buttons
you were the exciting buzz
that vibrated in my palm
when I hit that combo
I'm sorry my bones are fragile,
breaking from the touch of your voice.
I'm sorry my tears burned your delicate skin,
and sorry if my screams broke your ribs.
I'm sorry I ran away,
away from your charcoal claws.
I'm sorry I house a broken body
and tore my cracking heart.
I'm sorry I fought off the darkness in my veins,
but too tired to fend off your demons.
I'm sorry I was the one who carved your scars
and squeezed your creaking lungs.
I'm sorry for saying "I'm sorry."
I'm sorry for believing that phrase
can heal bullet wounds,
and align planets.
My name is Yellow.
As in the skin I bare,
and the heart beneath.
like the perfect grades,
and the failing student.
like the title stripped from my father,
and the title he wishes to strip from me.
unlike the parents,
and the silent daughter.
My name is Yellow.
And I am proud.