The Poetry Project

band-aids & other temporary healings

Trace Howard DePass

i don’t think there comes an inherent healing
xxxxx with poems or with time.

i was once so triggered i thought i was home
i got comfortable i took off my bag my jacket
xxxx each layer xxx from off my shoulder
until i unzipped & was sitting on my own skin
xxx in the dark so long
it could only have been a chair, wherein
my skin hangs xxxxx ass over the armrest
for decoration,xxxxx growing eyes out in
xxxxx this silence, like a passive God,
and yet everythingx was justx still there,
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx like my
eczema, which i scrape from so long,
xxxxxxx i pull from scabs the scaffold
with a bike attached by my project/building.
xxxxx yes, i didxxxxxxx thumb through all (t)his
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx courtcase/heartbreak,
belt that made the brown a darker brown &

i said it fertilized my flower bed some days,
xxxxx knowing some days that it would not.
&, yes, this whole thing’s a garden. it(ch)-
the scaffold contraption, with its chains, lock,

& self, xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx clings to iron
xxxxxxxx like how mothers do
the good child after losing custodyxxxx i’d say
each bike,x hugging the scaffold,x was & is me.
xxxxxxx and it was here –

xxxxxxx i asked to be let out of me
for so long in my room that, in the interim,

a boy got his wish for death, got born again,
woke up in a new mother’s arms, & then,
again, he still handed us his newest intercom
eulogy. & although we knew xxxxxxxx each
mother wanted every moment he could have
been to rupture the eardrums
xxxxx of a passive God,xxxx all we asked for was
a moment/of silence. people be counterintuitive.
but, this,xxx this one time i died for so long,
while i became a quantum thingxx so broken
in its compartments
light could not xxxx emit, i thought i was giving
out a healing/a poem/a love but fell instead
and kept falling until xx every orifice of me
shiftedxxxxx to red
and then translucentxxxxxxxx andxxxxxxxx then,
“what was
xxxxx his name?” whoever he was, he was
who i was then[?”] giving empty space,
paradoxically warm, with a mouth so good,
xxxxxxxxx God undid me. and i kept going.
knowing what i wanted was
a whole body again,xxxxxx all i asked for was
xxxxx to be/undone.

how mother dusting off her son’s casket
with wail begins to have an a’ight day,
within an archive of stillness & still-
together, i am still/here…

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