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I’m coming at you live from the half way out
Where the winter morning stretches out
Like a white sheet over lovers the infinite
Has fetched. The still & bone-blue white
Couple found parked, frozen on the highway,
I’m thinking of them & the drug that made
Them think they were warm enough to chill
Because I know staying alive requires pills
And a wicked streak. I’d need a head cocooned
In bass, I’d need to be locked in a womb
To hear your dopey two note melody, your song
Pimped by wreckage, your light longing
For lightness. I’d have to be as quiet
As the youths whose youth made them stupid
And lovely. They are God’s niggas now like you.
I’m thinking of the stall of intoxicated cool
That stalled you before it stalled them. I know
Men who want to die this way, smoke like snow
Tattooing their bodies with narcotic holiness,
The glaze of status, the faux lacquer of bliss.
I’m coming at you live frostbitten & thinking
Language is for losers. Who cannot think
Our elegies are endless endlessly & the words
We put to them too often unheard & hurried?
I’m coming at you live from the intangible.
Do you want to ride, or die crowded into a small
Space spitting Come with me? One day my song
Will be called “Language Is for Lovers.” One
Day desire will not be a form of wickedness.
And when you offer your drug, O Ghost, I’ll resist.
Terrance Hayes is a MacArthur Fellow and author, most recently, of American Sonnets for My Past And Future Assassin and To Float In The Space Between: Drawings and Essays in Conversation with Etheridge Knight. He won the National Book Award for Lighthead.
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