If I speak for …

If I speak for the dead, I must leave
this animal of my body,

I must write the same poem over and over,
for an empty page is the white flag of their surrender.

If I speak for them, I must walk on the edge
of myself, I must live as a blind man

who runs through rooms without
touching the furniture.

Ilya Kaminsky, from his poem “Author’s Prayer

We’ll be reading and discussing Kaminsky’s book Dancing in Odessa this week at our SWAS meeting.

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