by Jess Burnquist
Article 6, Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
My love and I sing a dual song,
Three dits, three dahs, three dits
Into the space where sky and water meet
Or to one another in the brush, our cupped nest.
She flies me to the caged land
Where men have no names, where men
Speak their stories to iron and cement.
One man sits with his head
Resting in the nest his hands make
And he calls our song so carefully
I almost mistake him for my love.
Another man yells at him, Fool! SOS
Will only be answered by birds.
The evening sky turns an alarming pink
On the night he sings loudest.
I answer him because he asks
And to deny his song is to deny
A song straining to be heard
By another, any other.
Read at the Writers Resist event in Phoenix, Arizona.
Jess Burnquist was raised in Tempe, Arizona. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Time.com, NPR.org, Jezebel, Persona, Clackamas Literary Review, Natural Bridge and various online and print journals. She is a recipient of the Joan Frazier Memorial Award for the Arts at ASU and has been honored with a Sylvan Silver Apple Award. She resides in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area with her husband, son, and daughter. Her poetry chapbook You May Feel Your Way Past Me is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press in the spring of 2017.