I call you Orlando / by Megan Hollingsworth

I want to know your name

to hear the sound that drew you

from your mother's womb

as I carry you back to the forest

because I've heard your voice in stride.

But the days of knowing the slain

have long passed, so I count you

next to the rest. Each number

spelled out in a whisper

so soft as your sleeping breath

desired no less the first than the last.

one

two

three

four

five

six

seven

eight

nine

ten

eleven

twelve

thirteen

fourteen

fifteen

sixteen

seventeen

eighteen

nineteen

twenty

twenty one

twenty two

twenty three

twenty four

twenty five

twenty six

twenty seven

twenty eight

twenty nine

thirty

thirty one

thirty two

thirty three

thirty four

thirty five

thirty six

thirty seven

thirty eight

thirty nine

forty

forty one

forty two 

forty three

forty four

forty five

forty six 

forty seven

forty eight

forty nine

fifty is the shamed child who killed each one before.

fifty one is the child who sang love songs.

fifty two is the child who forgot love songs.

fifty three is the child too young to read signs.

fifty four is the alligator failed by signs that did not say

enough.

And in sum, I call you 

Orlando

the one I love most

 

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