I am teaching Miles how to speak—

Daniel Summerhill

                           

                 

How to make his voice pulp,

 

in order

to confidently say,

I am both alive and well

and speaking

 

&

 

God gave me a mouth to talk

 

&

 

Ima use it.

 

I am teaching Miles how to speak—

 

How to unfold his tongue

In order to unlearn his silence—

 

&

 

Sing

 

&

 

Breath each vowel as if it were malignant

Clawing its way out of the mouth

 

&

 

Finding new ways to harmonize

his words

 

I am teaching Miles how to speak—

 

And still,

 

Miles find ways

to breathe without making a sound

or spilling his breath everywhere.

All of The Others Seek Refuge Here.

Daniel Summerhill

                     

                       

All of the others

seek refuge

 

here. In this pit of a body

some sort of kinship

 

or Calvary. Imagine this

failed vessel

 

attempting to coral

the waves

 

Imagine these bones

a catalyst

 

for everything but

themselves.

 

How they unfurl across

            the Atlantic

 

Time and time again.

            Staying afloat.

How to Die After They’ve Already Buried You

Daniel Summerhill

                             

               

Place your brown body in the small black box,

            make an effort to do so quietly,

 

no riots or rage tonight.

            Learn the muscle memory of smiling

 

then swallow the temptation. Only mugs

and shots allowed here. You can have

 

both for free. Steal— a canned soda

and a pack of gum when you’re 14.

 

Avoid eye contact, it may keep you alive

avoid eye contact, avoid eye contact.

 

Close your eyes. Close your eyes. Now—

 
 

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