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  • How to Talk White, and: this is a stadium
  • Farah Ghafoor

How to Talk White

my head an unloaded gun / mouth bound with the shock /blanket given to me after a death / a crime / I ordered my redblood cells / to massacre love / in the body / instead of what isblown out into the open / by mouths torn up by laughter / likeminefields / how they imitated his imitation / they're good atthat, their faces made-up / trying on our skins our tongues likeparty outfits / aren't mimes are supposed to be funny / funny likea bolt of asthma, white noise in the lungs / funny like arteriesblocked and ablaze / with frostbite / hearing the sirenssweetened to crushed berry and cream, I asked / where are theparamedics / for the histories we delayed into bodies / I askedand I arranged myself into the undertaker / silence, my shovel /still full of only spit and poem / and as weak as a homelessbullet [End Page 27]

this is a stadium

i read about a spanish festival during which a bull's horns were lit on fire and wonder          how you light something on fire anyways                 and then watch what you've done toa bull or the thing you want                 to call a bull how many bulls have we lit and let burn          how many bulls in the cities our bodies contained             in the hearths our bodiescontained             teeming with the people we wouldn't leave behind             withouttouching             how many bulls for the matches that flooded their own homelands            spoonfeeding the blaze like children         how many bulls in the stadium where we sit        as if we don't know its heart still flickers with electricity         if we didn't ourcheers wouldn't taper then drop like burnt flowers in the noon sun                 but our voices shootup like a steady stroke of lightning             sending hell back into the heavens as quickly as itcame                             the world could turn to bulls of gasoline and we would wonder        how long it could dance   entertain with a wavering engine-mouth        we high on breakage watch its love for us         in bulls crumple spectacularly                like fireworks                         after a few moments the bull buries its skull into awooden pole             a fire doesn't die unless its killed             (we like to say it diedbecause it killed itself implies command)                 about our own lives we imply             grab itby the horns                 will you? [End Page 28]



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pp. 27-28
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