take cover


Conversation in Crisis
Audre Lorde
I speak to you as a friend speaks
or a true lover
not out of friendship or love
but for a clear meeting
of self upon self
in sight of our hearth
but without fire.

I cherish your words that ring
like late summer thunders
to sing without octave
and fade, having spoken the season.
But I hear the false heat of this voice
as it dries up the sides of your words
coaxing melodies from your tongue
and this curled music is treason.

Must I die in your fever
as the flames wax take cover
in your heart’s culverts
crouched like a stranger
under the scorched leaves
of your other burnt loves
until the storm passes over?