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The Hard Husk

               1.
Cockroaches and beetles
   have it right
the hard husk works best outside
Caught now between anxiety and yearning
Mom was kind of tone deaf
Grandma was a professional musician
“No, B-flat, B-flat!”
This from downstairs—“How could she know?”
mom thought,  “she must be a witch.”
What price brilliance?
Her two tattoos include
   potent fertility emblems
The hard husk for us
   is inside

               2.
He no longer cares about her frowns
As grandpa said,
   “What do you want from the kid?”
To truly see it
   we must step outside this world
Large, sad, dumb, and dirty
   world
To truly see it
It’s impossible,
   we can’t even pretend to step outside of 
      of this world
You don’t know what I run from

               3. 
Who speaks for the silenced, the lost, the dead?
Mental refinement
   needn’t lead to good acts
Favor makes me bend
   Fear stiffens me
What if I had drowned that day
   in the ferocious murky ocean, 12 years old,
before dad died
before mom died?
Large changes shake and pull us down
   grief makes me cringe
Having you beside me
   is no substitute for love

-May 4, 2010-