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Corrie Harrigan, 2013 recipient of the Bonnie Jean Kelly and Joan Kelly Award
In the morning when the light begins to sift,
a slow dust gathers and the moon falls back like a pin prick,
or a cigarette burn against a seamless sky.
One man stands waiting for a bus on one wasted corner,
and one girl stands watching that man wait,
while another man sleeps in a bed above her head.
When we stand alone in this frozen space we pray,
and when we begin, we sing unto the thing that never ends.
Like this sky’s dusty light, a mind, or the hopeless pool of time,
we wonder what to call the thing without a name.
The way an echo in the chamber of the darkest heart rings out,
or the way a person is only skin, becoming skin,
brand new, again and again.
A thing that’s born of madness never rests,
so we grapple at the breast, begging
to be born brand new, to choose our names,
to be forgiven, to know truth.
As we stand resolute and stare, up and up into the dusty air,
we wonder at the mess that’s made of giving names to
anything so strange it cannot be tamed.