Today's poem is by Courtney Kampa


Before he began to motion
with his hands, molting, almost: flinging

the news from his limbs
like black feathers. Before something crawled

inside me, as if with life. Before he appeared
different to me, somehow, the way a book might

for having read it, though neither of us
equipped with sounds taut enough to call

this anything—my body rioting
like parts of a chandelier

as it hits the ground. Before he told me
that he'd told me what he'd never

told anyone—telling it with the exact aim
of having practiced at the mirror

when alone, when absolutely
alone, or before the difference between a pulse

and its rippling meant something
between us, between throatsore and gumsore,

between stopping a thing inside myself,
and a stopping of the thing itself. Before

his sentences began, and they began
constantly, meaning he kept reaching roward me,

meaning maybe my stillness was a kind of instinct
for it, like that of a horse

stepping into its harness, and you could
call it that, and he did.

Copyright © 2017 Courtney Kampa All rights reserved
from Our Lady of Not Asking Why
New Issues Poetry & Prose
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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