who would believe them wingedwho would believe they could bebeautiful who would believethey could fall so in love with mortalsthat they would attach themselvesas scars attach and ride the skin sometimes we hear them in our dreamsrattling their skulls clicking their bony fingersenvying our crackling hairour spice filled flesh they have heard me beseechingas I whispered into my owncupped hands enough not me againenough but who can distinguishone human voiceamid such choruses of desire
Copyright © 2008 by Lucille Clifton
From VOICES, BOA Editions
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Lucille Clifton (1936 – 2010) was an award winning poet, fiction writer, and author of children’s books. Her poetry collection, Blessing the Boats: New & Selected Poems 1988-2000 (BOA, 2000), won the National Book Award for Poetry. In 1988 she became the only author to have two collections selected in the same year as finalists for the Pulitzer Prize, Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir (BOA, 1987), and Next: New Poems (BOA, 1987). In 1996, her collection The Terrible Stories (BOA, 1996), was a finalist for the National Book Award. Among her many other awards and accolades are the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Frost Medal, and an Emmy Award. In 2013, her posthumously published collection The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010 (BOA, 2012), was awarded the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Poetry.
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