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from the May 2005 issue

I Don’t Want Anyone Coming around to Save Me

I don't want anyone coming around to save me

So, whoever is sending me those nice thoughts,
those smug little messages,
--take it elsewhere.

Cut off the oxygen now.
I don't want to suffer the agony of the mask.

And that black paint
from the stone path
is not going to hide
my fatigue nor my headstrong,
parsimonious way of putting up with it.

The gauze, the tight gauze,
saves just the burns
on the surface of my skin
So there is nothing to do
about the burning branded in my memory,
about the open wound that's not a spot in my body,
but a country where harmony is banned.

Take away the light
--since this anguish began
I've turned into a soothsayer.

Keep off the cotton swabs.
To me they seem only clouds of quicksilver
and preordained snow
and now
--as it was when I was small and loved--
I'm afraid of the rain
and cold things can hurt me.

Don't get near me.
I may end up becoming majestic
and that in itself can be another danger.

Now that death is all dressed up,
(they are fixing her hair just about now)
pressing her field uniform,
coloring her cheeks and burnishing her medals.
I don't want anyone coming around to save me.
I want to try and see
if I am able to stand up
all by myself.

Read more from the May 2005 issue
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