Wordless Music

For my sister, Kamille Star Powell

I wanted your whole notes,
your endless range,
your wordless music
that signaled the coming of dawn 
like a chorus of morning birds.

For it was you who showed me 
that the absence of words
isn’t the same as silence 
or being without message.

I wanted your ability to fully grasp 
another being’s hands 
with such a conviction and tightness
that reveals our connectedness.
I wanted those wheels
that seemed to carry you 
throughout this world
with ease.

I listened to your vinyl records,
fingered your plastic braille stories,
and yearned for comprehension.

I discovered those memories
that maintain life deep within
our collective conscience.
A burning bush.
A parting sea.
Water transformed to wine.
The reversal of the order of life and death.

I collected the words you lacked,
wrote spells beneath your name
and uttered faithful, fervent prayers 
with the intent of mustering up enough magic
to transform the Northern Star
into an earthly being.

I dreamt of the morning 
when I would wake up,
and you’d be there 
sitting up tall, on your bed
with neither the assistance of a mechanical slope
nor two pairs of arms supporting the inequity 
between your body and your heavy head.

In this dream, you exhaled
and released all those words 
your body has held captive for so long.
I accepted your breath
and we both sang
the newly freed lyrics 
of your song.

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