December 1, 2021

Shut

I am the girl who had my mouth sewn shut. I whir
in swarms, all teeth and
unquiet, my whole

body,

all shrieking, all
radioactive, a ray of

night.

I am the woman collating bones. A nervous
system brought back to
life, a little

disaster burned up; a
trigger of childhood, a geography of
needles.

My own voice.

This is a cento. Sources: John Berryman: “Dreamsong 22: Of 1826,” “Dreamsong 16,” “Dreamsong 17,” “Dreamsong 57,” “Dreamsong 52: Silent Song,” “Dreamsong 51,” “Dreamsong 50,” “Dreamsong 30,” and “Dreamsong 67.” Frank O’Hara: “On Seeing Larry Rivers’ Washington Crossing the Delaware at the MoMa,” “To a Poet,” “The Hunter,” and “Homosexuality.”
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