Wings can fold around a broken body
like a mother’s hold, offering calm and comfort,
yet, with white feather and brittle bone,
it is possible to create shadows with jagged edges
against the walls of littered alley ways.
Do we dare fight nature
in order to create our own identity?
Do we become what is expected
instead of spreading wings and creating
a current all out own?
We have become desperate for new names.
we call ourselves rat face, time bomb, clever,
we call ourselves outcast, twisted lip, beast, child,
never what we really are.
Instead of attempting to reinvent the self
shouldn’t we just accept these marks of birth
and scars of experience so distinct upon our presence.
Let them identify our beings like a mother in a mortuary.
How does one surrender wings
that have always marked existence?
How does one become something he is not?
These wings can never truly be clipped,
just sawed down, plucked and carved,
distinction momentarily hidden
destine to grow anew.
“Identity” is previously published in They Don’t Make Memories Like That Anymore (2011).