i had to burn

the silence has descended on tongues that talked once
tongues that knew how to spin gold from chaff
before the heart counterfeited itself
and moved into a held breath of fear
a skipped beat, rotten meat, rotten teeth

do not look to watch the watch
no one clocks the clock
we come to rock the rock
upend the immovable object
by dreaming the unstoppable force

you think the shout is a whisper
tongues knotting around explanations
queered pitches, turned to excuse
turned to verbal abuse; an ability to confuse

once we were the prophets
disguising the future in the poetry
and they built movements from the words
saw themselves in faces in the water
and learned to swim through the static
whitenoise scratching at the mirrors surface
this lake, these depths
the way we speak built around breaths
i had to breathe
before i could speak
i had to learn before i could teach
i had to burn before i could reach

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