Two poems
Elizabeth Kate Switaj


The Long & Short of Third to First

take this
this poem
paper this
news this
lie this
stack of
twigs this
lights easy
into smoke
fast as
I vanish
all dead
by 28
lifting head
birth day
humming to
mama's songs
tone deaf
for making
our own

they live without creation      can't be said to live they      they      They do
not deserve   freedom (from   elegance   give them choice   what can they
do    take away      and they don't see     live at least to eighty three     no
one shoots them      inoffensive     kissed more skin knees than you or me

someone has to
keep the incandescents
changed to halogen
over my grave
or someone will
spray paint over
writ in water
someone has to
be them ` be they

and we volunteer



The Binding of Your Words

sew me into your book by hair
I will stand I will march
I will carry your title
past sleepers know it's wrong
sleepers fell from drinking out
memories of their own binding

sew me into your book by toes
I'll push up until I can hold
your book above my head
         parade on hands to show
how you ripped everything hard off my soles
            (and no one will know how I feel
but know who bled to death the same

do not let him hear)
sew whole side into your body                   no, your binding
left or right then none will hear           but see
how my lips droop
                           and drag my ankle
                                                       across your words
                and see the reviews praise
       your radical revisions of print



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