Chapter 16
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“Dreaming We’re E.M. Bailey’s Dancers”

Book Excerpt: Speak, My Tongue

Dreaming We’re E.M. Bailey’s Dancers

We call it Easy Does It, Bobby Timmons
        tapping our ribs like black and white keys.

We sling our legs long to the floor like masts,
        our bodies sails bending to a white-tipped ocean.

Whales rise between our arms, their throats blown open
        like hats bottoms-up to the sky.

If they hear with their jaws, oh what a kiss must be
        thumping like a tuba to the toes.

You whisper, Some whales have feet, as you swim
        your hands through my hair, as you piano
        your lips in the teeth of my spine.

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