Like trying to begin without a past.
Like the dream of universal grammar.

As if months gauged memory's grip.

Like calling it a star, a fever, the fire, the scar.
Like gratitude for the blade.

As if you could repack the galaxy.

Like a song gutted by the tongue's score.
Like keeping my hands to myself.

As if a poem could sing.

Like the certainty you've exhausted the last of your words.
Like everything a poem struggles not to say.

  • The title is an abbreviation of the traditional folk song Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair.
  • This poem was first published in Potomac Review.