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Jesse Weiner

She Often Spoke

she often spoke of suicide, wordlessly.
did I see scarred wrists or imagine them?
of whose suicide did she speak?
her eyes, I saw them, told a kind of truth
apart from what I heard-
for that reason alone, I could forgive her.

are thoughts made of chemicals in the brain,
the synapse of neurons, electric sparks?
flash, they appear, another moment gone.
a memory took place and this I heard.

she often spoke, or did she speak, of suicide.
who spoke? who heard?
did I know or did I imagine knowing?
for that reason alone, I could forgive her.

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Avoiding History

avoiding history is a family tradition,
draft dodging, missing wars, as far
back as my fathers go, I find
no soldiers, no warriors and also
no lovers. we don't write
in my family, we withdraw
our stories on objection, stop
telling them. we keep secrets.

I keep my own secrets and rarely
tell them, keep my truth
from coming back to hurt me.
I learn slowly but I learn well,
to keep my secrets, avoid history.
I avoided history by protesting war
and by refusing to marry.
I learned late, but I learned well.
your eyes tell your history, your belly,
in its soft geography, hints at mine.
I don't enlist, I avoid being drafted,

[...] Read more

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