Djelloul Marbrook


When I think of dying to I think of air tea with Dolores,
   air tea in painted tin cups in a crumbling gazebo—

what ever was more privileged than air tea with Dolores?
   I have never been dying to have more than that.

For all my deadly curiosity, I never wanted to know
   anyone more than Dolores, never wanted to know

anything about anyone more than the number of hairs
   on her thighs or her dizzy-making breath.

Many of us die to know important people, after Dolores
   I saw only people putting on airs. Air tea

with Dolores corrected the courses of shooting stars
   but could not protect us from our predators:

after I was raped and nearly hung I decided to be a beam
   in the novas of her eyes, and I believed

we were separated because I no longer deserved
   air tea with Dolores, the tipsiness of her breath,

no longer deserved anything, anyone, and no more would be able
   to die to know even one profane secret.

I know more about heaven than I should because I know
   it won’t be as lovely as air tea with Dolores.

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