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Cryptography

I cannot talk to you right now.

I can’t part my lips
and spill conversations out:
the sentences grow barbs,
my mouth doesn’t work,
my tongue seizes up,
and the words catch.
I am choking on them
and I can’t spit them out.

The only way I can speak
to you is in code.

I have to tell you
that I am growing moth wings,
that the deep blue Atlantic
is writhing under my ribs,
that the butterflies in my stomach
are trying to bite their way out
and I am swallowing bottlesful
of hornets to sting them quiet.

That I have stopped being a man
and have started being a pillar of salt
trying to learn how to rain dance.

That I am eating smoke.

I am trying to tell you something
but I think the cipher is written
on the marrow of my bones
and I don’t want to know
what you’ll need to do
to crack me.

 

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.
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