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You used to be so
and now you’re all
like, you’ve transformed
I don’t know how to describe
you don’t like canasta anymore
you text IN ALL CAPS
Thin are the night-skirts left behind
By daybreak hours that onward creep,
And thin, alas! the shred of sleep
You charm’d me not with that fair face
Though it was all divine:
To be another’s is the grace,
Do you remember, Nancy,
when we sat in the Creole restaurant
and glanced up at the television to see students running
with their hands in the air and photographs
of two young men?
It walks behind me in the park and proceeds
to walk slowly to get a good look It
The world has become corrupted
from our hearts
to the way our gods love us
as if they know they’re already dying
and they’re determined to drag us down with them
“I saw my land in the morning
and O but she was fair”
- M.G. Smith, “Jamaica” (1938)
Come see my land
Hands pressed to glass
One thousand eight hundred seconds.
Protest is not supposed to be comfortable.
I wear a peineta & pin a mantilla to my hair
I want to be Conchita Piquer warning women
about becoming lemons. The goal: tener alguien
quien me quiera. I want to be my mother singing me
I've dreamt of you so often that you become unreal.
Is there still time to reach this living body and to kiss on its mouth the birth of
the voice so dear to me?
The young sun’s greeting
On my bed, your letter’s glow
All the sounds that burst from morning
Blackbirds’ brassy calls, jingle of gonoleks
Your smile on the grass, on the radiant dew.
the spirit of
your flowers is
my favourite shelter
we were in love is
I come from the land of
Where You From?
My people dispossessed of their stories
and who have died again and again
in a minstrelsy of afterlives, wakes,
the dead who walk, waiting and
grass is unusual
it was invented by the Romans
unlike most people grass stays where it grows
if grass had gone to the moon it would be there today
because grass looks luxurious
somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which…
If I am judged
If I am punished
If I am dismissed
If I am misunderstood
If I am celebrated
If I am envied
If I am competed with
If I am slandered against
If I am seen
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I’ve come to talk to you about shaving cuts
I was waiting across the road
right over there
for the light to turn
and you were on the other side
fumbling with change at the newspaper box
If you can’t speak / write in a fissured / alter-language
Of nerve-matter / dura mater / orbit of the central axis
By a crevice / scattered / venous lacunae / lamina code
I threw away your letters.
Years ago, just like that.
The tight black swirls,
circles and strokes
filling fine sheets —
I would not see them again.
The last items I had left.
I understand you.
I get what you’re trying to say.
What you’re trying to say is you want me to get it.
I get it. You want me
to understand. You want me to know
I lost my talk
The talk you took away.
When I was a little girl
At Shubenacadie school.
You snatched it away:
I speak like you
I think like you
I create like you
take the moon
nd take a star
when you don’t
know who you are
paint the picture in your hand
nd roll on home
take my fear
nd take the hunger
take my body
The place, the question, the question.
The place, the interest, the question.
There is the place.
There is what you do in the place.
There is your belief.
— say the names say the names
and listen to yourself
an echo in the mountains
say them like your soul
was listening and overhearing
and you dreamed you dreamed
Yes, injured Woman! rise, assert thy right!
Woman! too long degraded, scorned, oppressed;
O born to rule in partial Law’s despite,
with the tip of my spring tongue, ayîki frog
your mouth will be the web
catching apihkêsis words, spider
I have a picture of us when we are seven
but we aren’t in it. At the time it was taken
we thought we were. We posed with our wide
You ran naked out the door.
The neighbours laughed; I chased you down.
I hardly see you anymore.
But I do come to Trillium. To the Cardiac
Short Stay Unit where you’ve been sent for the second stent,
where free sanitizer prevents the spread of panic.
i am writing to tell you
that yes, indeed,
we have noticed
Dear Regret, my leaning this morning, my leather foot, want of
I told her, in plain language, how I felt.
And by that I mean I mumbled a poorly
paraphrased and already…
Coin Exhibit, British Museum.
Their misshapenness strikes the table in tiny splashes,
like still-cooling splatters of silver. Stater and shekel,
GOODLOOKING BOY wasn’t he / yes/ blond /
yes / I do vaguely
/ you never liked
Very loud a mad frenzy The wooden
barrel she rode would have roared
(I first wrote “road”)
oh papa, to have you drift up, some part of you drift up through
fresh water into the teal plate of sky soaking foothills, papa,
No, nothing much has changed.
A year later, the world is still one you’d recognize —
no winged cars to clog the air,
For Hetti Corea, 8 years old
‘The Sinhalese are beyond a doubt one of the least musical
The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
To Kristin Lems
We miss something now
as we think about it
At the beginning I noticed
the huge stones on my path
I knew instinctively
There are things you have words for, things you do not
have words for. There are words that encompass all your
feelings & words that…
Hello, listen, I’m on a field phone, do not speak until I say “over.”
Repeat, don’t talk until I say “over.” Over. Do you understand,
Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
Oh, Hope! thou soother sweet of human woes!
How shall I lure thee to my haunts forlorn!
For me wilt thou renew the withered rose,
If all the world and love were young,
And truth in every Shepherd’s tongue,
These pretty pleasures might me move,
After Li Po
While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead
I played about the front gate, pulling flowers.
Living, I had no might
To make you hear,
Now, in the inmost night,