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after Gwendolyn Brooks

She’s got a hundred & two temperature,

delivery room nurses said. You’re

gonna live, though—long enough

to know you’re going

to go as quickly as you came, gonna

make your mother swear by you, going to

shake your Bible with red-tipped nails

before you vanish

into Chicago South Side skies that bleed—

not like watercolor, not like a wound, not

like a fat, bitten plum—not necessarily.

No, not necessarily.

Nothing that precious or predictable. Speak

nicely to others & they will nicely

speak to you, your mother said.

No, not so, you said fairly

close to the end. No time to wait for mother’s

ride home or for saviors, coming soon.

from You Don’t Have to Go to Mars for LoveFind more by Yona Harvey at the library

Copyright © 2020 Yona Harvey
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.

Published in Poems Yona Harvey

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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