Brian Komei Dempster

By day. By night. In handcuffs. Through mind-scramble. Brain-

          surged. Shock of force, body taut. Alerted. Taken.

Outside. Inside. Anytime. Any place. No words to explain. My

          infant mother, 1942. My young son now. The rug,

his twisted body, his head inside. And what it does. Red flare

          or white lightning. Fried impulse or smoldering

heat. A searing of gray or glitter of stars veiled by fog. Her

          fragments. Yellow orb, the porch light. Shimmer

against her face. The cradle, her mother’s arms. A blanket's false

          cover. Itch of wool, hives on skin. Things

just happen. By bus. By train. In war. Electric storms. A horse

          stable. Desert. Sand swirl and mind gust. A thought

spark. Word cloudings. Mountains spike against white. A guard’s

          boot. Trodden syllable. A thorned cage. Wing

pierced. Baby hawk in wire. My barbed string of words. To capture

          him. Capture her. If he never speaks? I carry him. If

she cries for her father? My grandmother carries her. Some place. She won’t

          speak of it. I don't speak. Of things I don’t know. Of

despair. About him. We never know. Where we are going. Where

          love will end us.


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