like i could sing it away. like the rhythm of a swinging arm, a swishing drink can make the world unknowable to me. like we could be ours. like we have to be ours. like we’ve never owned a thing. like being mad could be righteous. like i could live in celebration of mad. like any love i’ve ever received needed instruction. like pain, though undulant, carries me to freedom and any pain i’d ever felt, she felt too. like i don’t gotta smile to look my best. like my teeth weren’t made to crush & cut breath like this. like i’d be mad for the rest of my life. like this has to be weezy’s best verse. like God speaks this language. like he has to. like i have a lot to be weary about. like gentrification may try, but it will never sing a song. like weary is a sinking cloud. like my hair has been damaged by words more than by touch. like i could hum the story of the father of my father’s father, who decided to stay home that one day that one time & found himself, unlike his friends, unhanged. like a simple thing such as lineage, for us, was never guaranteed. like walking around with head heavy and oiled. like biting the hand that has no regard for my throat. like i don’t know quite what it means to come undone. like i get why that woman thought this was about birds. like i get why i thought it was about love.
Meghan B. Malachi is a consulting analyst and poet from the Bronx, NY. Her work is published or forthcoming in Milly Magazine, NECTAR Poetry, Pages Penned in Pandemic, giallo lit, and Writers With Attitude. Her first chapbook, The Autodidact, was published in December 2020. She lives in Chicago, Illinois. Twitter: @meghbert