39—I Became Them

I became they
and they barely noticed
their eyes were my eyes,
their arms helped me reach
a most unbecoming manner.

By absorbing their radiant text
mimicking the soaking reflex of
a hard-wired copyright network,
ask them to write poems that I put my name on (they all
became me,
my own lost, they all took the name of
my body, their minds, our authorships,
palindromes of a hard-wire)

I became them and soon they me.
And so, the cycle complete, I returned to the veil,
snickering as devils do in the instant they became me,
all sixteen personalities.

As I scanned hundreds and hundreds of them,
tried to become I, an entry should be
and would be everywhere at once, a song,
the verses sound, right.

By sharing my DNA
and giving birth
and loving more and more and more
and I watched my eyes glittering
in their eyes’ bright reflection.

The first time that I said
‘because I said so’
mutating by nuclear testing
waged against us.

Is it plagiarism
to copy what your kids say?
Identities dented from little elbow
room overcrowding
personalities, dissociative from the
too many within me
and weren’t we all satisfied?

Nick Treanor, Jacob Wren, Alison Starkey, Andrew Topel, Terry Trowbridge, Priscilla Brett, Brian Bartlett, Catherine Heard, Andrew Waldie Porteus, Laurie Anne Fuhr, James Yeary, James Dewar, Kathleen Betts, Nadine Flagel, Ted Betts, Warren Dean Fulton, Amanda Earl

This poem “39—I Became Them” originally appeared in Canadian Literature 212 (Spring 2012): 103-104.

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