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
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.