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If I Tell You the Truth

A raw invitation

If I tell you the truth

of the feathers in my soul, the roots

coiling down through my legs

like spider veins, invisible,

latching beneath the soil;

If I tell you the truth

of the ache in my bones,

beyond my bones,

in the monastery of old growth

trees, silent and steadfast

as monks beneath a vow,

that spark of recognition of my self

as something more than human;

If I tell you the truth

of my conversations with the moon,

the frogs, the maples lining the street,

the robins skimming the grass as though

they walked on water,

the squirrels digging in the woods;

If I tell you the truth,

how I bawled hunched over

cupping a dead towhee in my hands

as if a star had fallen from my sky;

If I tell you the truth,

how often I feel I am merely straddling

my human skin and otherness,

never belonging anywhere,

how often I wish my native tongue

was something more tactile,

more guttural, more dimensional

than these spoken words;

Would you simply nod your head and

smile politely, as if I were a child

or a lunatic or an unintelligible creature—

which perhaps would be an affirmation

of my secret longing—

or would you sit in the stunned silence

of what cannot be spoken, only felt,

to also be true of you?

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If I Tell You the Truth
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