321: Inheritance

321: Inheritance

321: Inheritance

by Camille Rankine

What have I

To say in my wrong tongue

Of what is gone   To know something is

Lost but what   You have forgotten what

You long forgot   If I am

What survives   I am here but I am not

Much of anything at all   To be what’s left

And all the rest scooped out

And dropped into the sea   My flesh

Forming a knot on itself is a habit

Learned from whom   A mind reaching back

Into the dark a body releasing itself

Backward into space a faith

I have no prayer in which to keep

Am I home or merely caught

Between two unmarked graves

I’m saying where we live

It’s a mistake    A compromise

I’m made to make

I’m told come willingly

Halfway across a bridge to where

I’m halfway human   Or else

A door bricked over

Behind which all I am

To be shadow cast by shadows cast

By no one’s hand   And now

Whose fault am I It’s said

I stand against the grain

Of natural law   A being in chaos

In argument with itself   What would it be

To be simply I am here but what of me

That’s gone stays gone

Used by permission of the poet.