christmas morning, you

christmas morning, you
are reading to me a new
old book, 1963,
james baldwin.

wait, go back, i say,
and we read again,
out loud, and i reread
the passage to
myself, stuck
in strands of time and
the historical now, and
i have no right to the
sudden lump in my
throat, so i don’t
ask if you too are
struggling, not
together, but
separately, to
make sense of it,
the meaning behind the
words behind
the words.

we pause
here until some
unforeseeable spring,
promise to pick it up
right where we left off,
while secretly
stealing the solitude,
the hours and
years of nakedness,
required to face
the fire next time
.
20170126:0000
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