In the new century,
we lose the art of many things.
 
For example, at the beep, I communicate
using the wrong machine.
 
I called to say we have two lives
and only one of them is real.
 
When the phone rings: you could be anybody.
In the evening: you are homeless
 
and hunting for good light, as safe a place
as any to make a bed for the night.
 
In both my lives, my nerves go bust.
I’m certain that I’m not
 
as I appear, that I’m a figment and
you’re not really here.
 
The struggle
is authenticity.
 
I have a message.
You must believe me.

  • Camille Rankine, "Symptoms of Prophecy" from Incorrect Merciful Impulses. Copyright © 2016 by Camille Rankine. Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press, www.coppercanyonpress.org.

  • Source: Incorrect Merciful Impulses (Copper Canyon Press, 2016)

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