If anyone out there can hear the beat
of my thickened heart inside my flooded chest,
I ask (well aware that my life was blessed)
for pity before my final defeat,
at the hands of my words, my mind, my feet,
I have failed in my task to show undressed
the hideous body that leaves oppressed
the rapturous veins whose blood I repeat.
The real shame comes from not trying enough,
and accepting thoughts hostile to my goals,
which were collective and larger than me,
a fragment of light in a musty trough
that drained to an ocean of muddy shoals
and lies obscured to life but somehow free.