Moses Sumney’s Falsetto on the 55 on the Way Back from Midway Airport on the Way Away from Home

for my Mami

we go far to be close, sometimes
& you talk of love: howling, a teardrop
blooming, & aching: an electric guitar riff
laid bare & you say night isn’t for children & the city
isn’t for living & there you are
& there we were & i meant to say
& you sob into my hands
& there’s a reason all creation stories begin
with separation & you say studies say being lonely
is the equivalent to smoking 16 cigarettes

so i look at everyone on the 55 in the eyes
& i wonder what in love means
& you say don’t sit in wet clothes
so i sleep in them & you say
you don’t need lexapro like you need
& you say they made me go to therapy
& i admitted there’s nothing wrong with me
& i laugh
& i hug you from behind
& we dance
& we split into two
& we are phantom limbs
& i wish i said & i imagine telling you
my pronouns & i sob into your hands
& you’re a tsunami swallowing an ocean
& the water is the kind you drown in
& i want everyone on the 55 to try
to hit the high notes
& i want us to fail loudly & you say
i love you too girl & my mouth overflows.
sometimes, we go far to be close.

Yazud E. Brito-Milian (they/them) is a Chicane poet, museum educator, and abolitionist organizer. Born in Winston-Salem, NC, and living in Chicago, IL, they are currently working on their first chapbook, with this being their first publication. They want to send a big thank you to the community and music that helped grow this poem. Yazud can be reached at @yasudbloom on Instagram. 

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