So many of my friends even my family
want labels. Want each part of me divided
parsed into neatly organised boxes
drawers shelves folders trashcans
My hands should go into that grey box
marked in black letters worker
My ears should go into a piano bench
tagged with a sticky note where everything is music
My feet quiescent in an old shoebox
that bears the sticker runner. So many miles.
Nearby a roll of foamcore holds a collage
ravens and foxes and nautilus shells. Yūgen
haunter of woods who has no words for green love.
Into this basket woven by Rwandan women
I squish my ovaries identified as breeder
not to be confused with mother, safely stored
between the foxed pages of a thesaurus.
On an adjacent shelf, beside a scarlet chop,
barely large enough to hold its unnamed pieces.
Its wings are splinted now.
An arm is wrapped in a threadbare infant quilt
a cracked knee beneath a bronze tray
inside a lacquered box a teacup stained
with tea leaves that knew the future once.
Somewhere among these scraps & shards
a compass might point north, and pieces
heed a lodestone’s call. But perhaps words
are not music, and pieces never make a whole.
But possibly… music is the skeleton of language
and song lives within each name. I sing myself,
gestalt of broken pottery, torn pages, lost ribbon.
I sing myself.