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By Terrance Hayes

Inside me is a black-eyed animal

Bracing in a small stall. As if a bird

Could grow without breaking its shell.

As if the clatter of a thousand black

Birds whipping in a storm could be held

In a shell. Inside me is a huge black

Bull balled small enough to fit inside

The bead of a nipple ring. I mean to leave

A record of my raptures. I was raised

By a beautiful man. I loved his grasp of time.

My mother shaped my grasp of space.

Would you rather spend the rest of eternity

With your wild wings bewildering a cage or

With your four good feet stuck in a plot of dirt?


Source: Poetry (September 2017)

  • Living
  • Nature
  • Relationships

Poet Bio

Terrance Hayes
Born in Columbia, South Carolina, poet Terrance Hayes earned a BA at Coker College and an MFA at the University of Pittsburgh. In his poems, in which he occasionally invents formal constraints, Hayes considers themes of popular culture, race, music, and masculinity. See More By This Poet

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