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Me

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Lots of contemporaries—
but “me” is not my contemporary.

My birth without “me”
was a blemished offering on the collection plate.
A moment of flesh, imprisoned in flesh.

And when to the tip of this tongue of flesh
some word comes, it kills itself.
If saved from killing itself,
it descends to the paper, where a murder happens.

Gunshot—
if it strikes me in Hanoi
it strikes again in Prague.

A little smoke floats up,
and my “me” dies like an eighth-month child.
Will my “me” one day be my contemporary?


Source: Poetry (June 2011)

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This poem originally appeared in the June 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

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Me

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