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Sport 40: 2012

In the Land of Deaf-Mutes

In the Land of Deaf-Mutes

In the beginning using language was
   child’s play, an art of slips and promises

Not sentences alone could be true or false
   From grammars we built small ships

and let them sail across the sky-sea
   until the discord soaked through. They

didn’t help us sort the poisonous words
   from the wholesome ones, nor to

ignite a poem without phosphorous and stone
   Your description of utopia was a mistake

For you were only teaching us because the future
   Was more frightening to you than the past

I would have choked on my own childhood
   if I had trusted your lessons

Without rage they’re infertile lessons
   I left the books behind, the asylum

of your truths. My toes are more likely to find
   my mouth than your latex metaphors
page 233 The seam of dirt under my toenails
   feeds my word fever more than the one under the

clean foreskin of fathers. My retching
   is not just a gesture, not just a dance

It’s also a stigma in the land of my choice
   I won’t get older, born old

Among the herds of deaf-mutes
   I make up for my childhood