Dreaming Helen Keller
Always the interminable spelling
on my inadequate palm.
One letter at a time, like a slow drip
off the eaves after a big rain,
and me, still parched, tipping my face
to the sky, wanting to holler.
If only I could learn to shape air
into something recognizable.
If only someone would whisper poems
along the insides of my arms,
a hymn sung by fingertips
across my belly, all the way
to the peak of each breast,
my body’s rafters reverberating.
Then, a suspenseful little story
unfolding up and down my thighs,
finally, a cacophony,
both lyrical and guttural:
let my little cave echo, trill, open
like a throat to answer. O, fill my body—
this clumsy, mute organ—with song.
In honor of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, this selection comes from the poetry collection, Bright Stain, available from Red Hen Press. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.
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