Poetry

The Body in Revolt

Years ago, they drove a spear of blackened wood through the base of my spine, and when the bleeding stopped my skin grew around it, like bark around an axe left buried in a tree it couldn’t kill.   Why does a tree keep reaching towards the sun— doesn’t it know any other way? Now […]

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As if My Flesh was Summer Soil

I make the bed as my mother taught me, smoothing sheets corner to corner, curve to curve, crisp and white, smelling of bleach and the flowery sachets she stuffs into linen closets and cedar chests, as if she could trick those cramped and lightless spaces to bloom. I fluff the pillows, three sharp blows, the […]

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My Cat, He

I knew the horrific thickness beneath my skin the offensive heaviness of each organ I met again with my old ally hunger and felt grim satisfaction as my layers thinned to reveal hard bone   but my cat, he did not approve when I was slow to feed him my gravity stronger though I weighed […]

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Terese Mason Pierre

Fin

Not a lustful fisherman— someone caught in the battle between man and nature as his eyes fill with ocean— but a small black boy dragging a stick against the evening shores of Grand Anse, Grenada.   She is leaning against the pier post, in the sea, so he sees her human first: her dark skin, […]

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fair exchange

you who bred us for the abattoir, you who taught us justice is a nothing-word of poisoned air— remember us.   you with your honeyed terror and scalpel-lies, you with a red-soft hollow in your ribcage in which filth and secrets fester— here is my eye.   I have plucked it out and pressed it […]

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The Trouble Over

16/6 for the separation allowance— 3/3 for the personalization of the headstone. The star came free, courtesy of the Pale and Pound’s Stepney, East. Your blood ran from the Tsar’s army to fight the Kaiser’s, your April Fool’s death added rimshot to the war’s punch line. Sharp-faced, soft-mouthed Rosenberg in your pink ties, you painted […]

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saltwashed

unpeel me from my skin & let us wash it in the sea; the salt will scour sediment from my capillaries.   glistening & exposed, I will pull down the sickle of the moon & scrape my tendons clean. if we touch, you will find me like the segments of an orange: membranous & soft […]

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deep sleep

i’ve never seen the deep sleep of monarch butterflies but I can imagine the taste of their relief in the eucalyptus grove the slow nectar of thawing winter, a rare ice wine steeped with pine needles instead of champagne at the end of passport control the pollen is a confetti of stars   only ancestors […]

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