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Seven Gifts

Seven Gifts

(di Ego Godgifu, Latin: the self is the gift of god)

di Ego Godgifu
cut off these arms and take them down to the broke place of broken
trees and give them back their broke
cut off this tongue and unteach it unspeaking from the broke place
of violence unarmed
in the forest of
violence unspoken of  of unspoken of armaments

di Ego Godgifu
I have spoken many things falling

have spoken stone          brittle skies streaked long with brittle clouds 
finding the graveyard hanging above
                        like a grey dying
hanging plant

I have watched the clouds          turn to bones and grow heavy     
dropping to the       ground to be gnawed      by relentless dogs

this does not mean we are rising

di Ego Godgifu
be careful now

di Ego Godgifu
I never knew you could be dirty in so many ways
there’s dirt dirt. there’s blood. there’s sweat. there’s animals…

di Ego Godgifu
remember when you said I talked funny like a British?
remember before
how I was nailing fetus posters to abortion guilty highways in grandma’s bonnets and you knew god like me better cause I got to see Disney?
remember when I loved the president and wanted to win the war,
remember Reagan?
remember work ethic,
individual responsibility?
remember homeless?
remember when mom went to jail and whenmomwenttojailand remember last month when mom went to jail?
remember how we thought drugs would save us
and how drugs did save your second kid cause they took it away from you?
remember how white people are better?
remember how they divided us between our dads?
remember when we took acid and I married the tree?
remember the dead cow?
remember “that black guy” who beat you up?
remember “that black guy” you beat up?
remember how poor you both were?
remember living in motels?
remember that guy mom stabbed?
remember when I you found passed out in a pan of your own vomit and the stove was open heating the house and your girlfriend oded on meth that night?
remember that magician on Cirque du Soleil who pulled himself up by his bootstraps, hovering? remember when your dad went to jail?
remember when you went to jail?
remember how they say went to jail like it’s something you do voluntarily?
remember when anarchy became a punk rock song and how socialism is like Hitler?
remember the second stanza?
remember language poetry?
remember the sweating horse,
the cigar statue Indian holding his hand palm up?
how the sunlight seemed to tick?
remember pebbles?
remember riding in truck beds?
remember when you went to jail, again?
remember when I left and mom tried to give me that gun and she said, “don’t worry it’s not registered?”
remember how everyone’s so patriotic?
remember when they hated the Russians?
when they hated the Mexicans?
when they hated the Muslims?
remember when they hated me?
they never came out and said why, not to me anyway.
did they to you, do you remember?
remember, they hate you too
remember, they hate each other
remember, everyone’s gonna burn in hell
remember, they hate themselves
remember how they hate where they are how they hate what they do how they love their
remember how they love their country and hate their government
remember how they vote
remember how they like to torture things; animals, people cheese?
remember how they must hate cheese?
remember Velveeta?
remember pit-bulls
the mattress the rat bled on
and how clear the stars are
remember being stoned beneath them
remember how I held you
remember how I left?
remember how you’re still there?

di Ego Godgifu
cut off these armaments
and take them down to the place of trees
and give them back their violence
cut of these breasts
and make them two sons
two pale suns to light your hiding sky

cut off this unteaching
and give them tongues back their broke speech, armed

unspeaking in the forest
waiting in the broke trees

–Chavisa Woods


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