each time you go out
wearing your new coat
(made  from only the gifts
of every instant of your life
& so long that it drags the ground
of your own present history)

each time that you throw your collar up
& you step out into that night
to lean against the steel rains
& blinding winds of a world
growing so ugly & cold

each time you squint your eyes
& you scream that your true name
is still beautiful & unconsumed
& lives deep in your throat-
I wonder if it lives there
in ashes or in flame?

© 1995 Melvin E. Brown



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