Poems 19 and 14 by Lauren Canaday

I heard a man beat box
Down the street
It sounded like industry
And heat
It clashed with my thoughts
But opened up others
And by the end,
I had a new rhythm.

Like the yarn
Of a cat toy
Where does one begin?
And the other end?

Shame and Sorrow
Does one begin
As the other ends
Or are they infinite?
Separate or equal?
All forms of the same
Chemicals reacting in our brains
Like lab experiments?

Should we even ask these questions?

You would answer “no,”
Your life seems centered
On your speech impediment
Not the breaths that you take
Or your ability to speak
But your consistency
Your perception
Of the nonverbal extra-perception
Of this extraordinary human race.

You see,
You shouldn’t suppress something you’re born with,
My mind wanders into rooms unnamed,
Was that my thought, or Emily’s?—
You can’t be cured from something that isn’t a disease.

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