Poetry

Keening

She wakes with no memory of pain, only the taste of steel and three drops of blood on white bed sheets. In the distance, the whistle of the afilador, the man who sharpens knives. He appears at dawn or dusk, or when called. Her abuela, slicing onions, told her, “Put a trapo on your head […]

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The Designs of Designer Baby

I. She came from the cold laser bath, a polished thing trimmed by tiny scissors. Held by sterile gloves, she grew up thinking herself a rare Picasso, her eyes dark flowers, her mind a meteor shower. In elementary school, she saw the future, built marvels using gauze, bullets, and Krazy glue, items made for wartime […]

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An Announcement

An announcement: To be spread in code By the tattered violinist in the Astor Place station, In an advertisement for a ‘57 Chevy in the Post, Between needles binding cerise and rose, And in the songs of select birds who sing in Gramercy Park. You will understand it. An invitation: To be scrawled with colored […]

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Spice Islands

For my Grandmother and Derek Walcott Voyages by sea from two spice islands lay claim to the hidden song that is plucked by momentum from my hidden sinews. There is no logic or reason to this intersection of personal histories. Why two men with diverging histories sailed from Jaffna and became station masters. Why their […]

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Too Much Dystopia?

Urgent through the lambent air Stormcrows croak “Despair, despair!” Dark clouds race against the sun And the water will not run. There is nothing here to eat And the heart will find defeat. All the iron rails are rust And our dreams have turned to dust. What is it that says this trope Is more […]

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Birth, Place

I made this land myself. I put dirt in my own mouth and hoped it would mature; you made              manure of the bodies of our mothers, asked us to chew the remains, and on our tongue they whispered, Babalú-Ayé, make my children potters of a planet, give them farmers’ […]

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