Saturday, September 24, 2022

The Man Who Owned Me by Tracy K. Smith

The Man Who Owned Me

It was a man I’m sure of it.
Though I never saw him
I felt him rise, climbing up
Through me until I bent
To a devotion not my own.
I felt him in my belly, low
In my hips. I carried him
Like I carried my own children.
I have no idea if he was old
Or young, what his face
Would have been had he flesh.
He did in me whatever an ember does
Burning slowly until all of a piece
What it feeds on falls to ash.
Sometimes I miss what he taught me
To see, the hunger it gave me.
I think he must wait now just
Beside my body, believing I’ll
One day fall back to my knees.
If he had hands, they would be
The kind of hands I open for. 

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