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Hear Our Lost People Speak[1]

Dear Air Where You Used to Be[2]

Imagination is having to Live in a Dead person’s Future[3]

“Why is He Dead?” To this he makes No Answer – there Being None[4]

Grief’s Damnable Tint is everywhere – Darkening Days she is no longer Aware of[5]

Tell all my Mourners to Mourn in Red – ‘cause there ain’t No Sense in my bein’ Dead[6]

To be Grown up is to Sit at the Table with People who have Died who neither Listen nor Speak[7]

Where shall one go who Keeps Memories of the Dead, except Home Again,

Faithful to the Fields, lest the Dead Die a Second and more Final Death[8]

The Dead who Take away so much, really take with them Nothing

That is ours – the Passion they Aroused Lives after them – Easy

To Transmute or Transfer, but well-night Impossible to Destroy[9]

You Die out in me: down to the Last Worn-out Knot

Of Breath you’re still there, with a Splinter of Life[10]

[1] Bell Hooks, Appalachian Elegy 10

[2] Danez Smith, Summer, Somewhere

[3] Victoria Chang, OBIT [The Blue Dress]

[4] Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness

[5] Patricia Smith, Black Poured Directly into the Wound

[6] Langston Hughes, Wake

[7] Edna St. Vincent Millay, Childhood Is the Kingdom Where Nobody Dies

[8] Wendell Berry, At a Country Funeral

[9] E.M. Forster, Where Angels Fear to Tread

[10] Paul Celan tr. Michael Hamburger, How you

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