The Detached

by Maya Angelou


Original Language English

We die,
Welcoming Bluebeards to our darkening closets,
Stranglers to our outstretched necks,
Stranglers, who neither care nor
care to know that
DEATH IS INTERNAL.

We pray,
Savoring sweet the teethed lies,
Bellying the grounds before alien gods,
Gods, who neither know nor
wish to know that
HELL IS INTERNAL.

We love,
Rubbing the nakednesses with gloved hands,
Inverting our mouths in tongued kisses,
Kisses that neither touch nor
care to touch if
LOVE IS INTERNAL.

-- from The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou, by Maya Angelou

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The Detached