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By Tim Seibles

It’s true: I almost never

smile, but that doesn’t mean

 

I’m not    in love: my heart

is that black violin

played slowly. You know that

 

moment late in the solo

when the voice

is so pure    you feel

the blood in it: the wound

 

between rage

and complete surrender. That’s

where I’m smiling. You just

can’t see it—the sound

 

bleeding perfectly

inside me. The first time

I killed a vampire    I was

 

sad: I mean

we were almost

family.

 

But that’s

so many lives

ago. I believe

 

in the cry that cuts

into the melody, the strings

calling back the forgotten world.

 

When I think of the madness

that has made me    and the midnight

I walk inside—all day long:

 

when I think of that

one note    that breaks

what’s left of what’s

human in me, man,

 

I love    everything


Tim Seibles, "Blade, Unplugged" from Fast Animal.  Copyright © 2012 by Tim Seibles.  Reprinted by permission of Etruscan Press.

Poet Bio

Poet Tim Seibles was born and raised in Philadelphia. He earned a BA at Southern Methodist University and an MFA at Vermont College of Norwich University. Seibles approaches themes of racial tension, class conflict, and intimacy from several directions at once in poems with plainspoken yet fast-turning language. He lives in Norfolk, Virginia.

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