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Inspired by this year’s 400th anniversary Shakespeare celebrations, #wordswelivein explores the words we encounter every day and the stories they tell about our lives and communities. The initiative comes to life through live events, social media and text-and-image works by writers from around the world.

Find out how to participate in #wordswelivein.

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Find me under a porch, under a fickle sun, under
a mantle replete with photographs your father is
missing from. I am in the layered rot of your onion,
in your garage gathering dead bees. I blink in
perpetuity. My embodiment: paid in full.

(If only I had a spill kit to keep you in, to keep you
from pouring out. Imagine: no bile, no brine,
no oil blooming in no ocean. No history, no war,
no blood singing in cool night air. My grandmother
holds no knife in no tall wheat.)

I am listening from every wall. I won’t keep the blood
out; I can’t promise you that. You must believe me:
I am everywhere. Wear me like heavy wool. Let me spill
like the edge of a dream strung with moths, missing light.

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Coney Island Gleanings

Solace peeks out from behind a red fire box
on Mermaid Avenue. Flea market waving
a Brooklyn basketball jersey
under the hawk-eyed Parachute Jump’s watch
Inside the dark flea market no thing catches our attention, today
What we want is in the day, on a sidewalk
99 cent Pizza On The Run, fresh mangoes for $1
roti & bammy, breadfruit & sorrel juice
Brooklyn #23 Solid. Winsome. In the breeze.
Children’s pastel glyphs on the old bank—an urban universe
Fade psychic chalk drawing
oro, pan dulce & Timbuktu Hair Salon. Cosme’s Record Store
becomes hardware store becomes bakery
Terminal Hotel—empty lot
Peeling cream painted letters on Surf Avenue
Your handwriting reveals your character
She speaks seven languages

The layers of buildings— beguiling
hold so many