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.
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.
Yes, I live. I can cross the streets asking "What year is it?"
I can dance
in my sleep and laugh
in front of the mirror.
Even sleep is a prayer, Lord,
I will praise your
in a language not mine, speak
of music that wakes us, music
in which we move. For whatever
is a kind of petition, and the darkest
days must I praise.
-from Dancing in Odessa
|Watch Mr. Kaminsky read his work