Angelus Novus by Michelle Reale

I am not a silent poet

This storm is what we call progress.
—Walter Benjamin

This smile is a surrogate for my grimace
neatly folded and tucked away beneath gold plated

emotion. Rub it and it flakes. I am calming cobalt
blue, talking its bright and intense visage off the

ledge while I command: show yourself. Your mother is
on a distant shore, she who abandoned me, she who gifted

me gemstones I was destined never to wear. And I am left to
wonder if they buried your father in his military epaulets

after all. Have they rubbed my name from the memorial
one of his loving daughters? One single catastrophe and then

the seismic convulsions and worst-case scenarios present
themselves. How many dialects of silence are spoken here?

The blood rubies mined and sold to those who could pay for them
still shone, while I slipped the small decorative shells from the Chinese

restaurant into…

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