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When Do You Leave The Flawed Lover—Or Hold On?

When Do You Leave The Flawed Lover—Or Hold On?

It is the white man lovers who haunt me
I go to bed with them, they lie right next to my writing table,
I take their stories into my mouth, let out

Jesus Christ, Oh My God, Jesus, Jesus

incorporate their semen
into my secret

is it the slow release of him that calms me, the easy
natural flow, neither of us in control
of disappearing?

Because it is so easy to do,
do I return again, and again?

or is it because it’s hard? Each thrust

A memory,

A sign,
An acknowledgment.

Is it beautiful, this time? Or just
a needed moment
to remind me?

I awake knowing of a woman.
She is brown,
She is soft.
She loves me.
I keep my legs crossed, not ready
to give birth to her song
which is sad, which is honest.

Is it because I won’t sing with her
that I can’t let her pass?

I am not afraid.
Just haunted by dead birds.
It is not about love though, is it? Nor

is it about chance. There’s a mystery
here, but I can solve it, if not in this poem,
in another.

There is something about the white
the man
that is familiar,
that clings to me like the black bird
in the choke cherry tree.

The woman pushes
unplugging a passage;

water will break
when it’s ready

the flood is coming,
it’s coming,
it’s coming . . . . . . .

Hold on.

©Sherry Quan Lee
April 12, 2003