“Trace the rim of your ear: Feel those curves & ridges?
You’re the only person in the world with that exact shape.” Reader’s Digest
Remember this if my body
washes up on the beach, spit from the sea of Cortez.
My thin frame pregnant w/ water,
seaweed like filigree braided into my hair,
crabs in procession crawling out the caves of my nostrils.
Listen, if the casket is open.
After my lobe is pierced by a service weapon,
my head a ruined mouth w/ ears,
my soft-from-poem hands, folded on my lap
Don’t forget my ears
if my heart pills to concrete.
Know they heard me drifting down to dark,
but were too quiet to keep me
awake. I heard you cursing me,
telling me you loved me, in the same breath.
Know they noted my last words—
Don’t tell the kids.
If your final memory of me
is the sound of bullets,
if your last vision is the bottoms of my shoes
running to fire back, if my closing breath
is a poem in your ear explaining how to shoot a gun—
If my hair falls out like cut rope—
grasp at what’s left of me folded like a fetus.
When my ears are no longer don’t forget
their shape. How your fingers sang their curves,
read their familiar bends like braille your hands
accepting our future in silence.
Listen if I forget myself, you;
the words that my ears remember.