O, a poetics
In this city floated by rumor, we dock each dream. Languages follow mouths of ships. My family came by night train -- identity paper stitched genealogy.
Lore become homing ground. Nobody opens mouths. Ships make families. Teeth get fixed.
Youngest of the family procured
documents; stories escaped. You believe what is told about mine. My grandfather's youngest sister sold, no name. There is a village, inhabitants produce my name.
I watch clothes scrubbed, my life bears no dirt. My father came to eat steak. He desired well- done, couldn't make sense of cheese.
You say all this a lie.
On another continent, a man in the street beat
this other, we horrified, does this cross us into civilization?
Less bridge than gaps and leaps, for instance.
Midpoint, I decide to stop.
Explaining. These I translate
anyway simple tongue, my mother shrugs
the paper across a table cleansed of dinner.
Only explanation for how the monster became
woman. This language seeded by orphans. No roots, no home. Flying words sourced from future, in colonies, dance clubs, night markets. What bought, source from scabs. Never easy, often make alterations in landscape. To leave means your base makes terrible sound, scrapings from coin. How you plant this language — false, grotesque — in young mouths. You water and feed them lucky eggs. How else to grow food.
Is the diasporic aesthetic -- a burning of each line follow a queer one.
We sit at the end of the strand, holding onto air.
Tell me again each name in the bell, what breath left to use.
It is not, she tells me, public. I snip off the end, tuck it into the corner.
Is the beginning not a cut.
When she turns back, nothing but air, hands, water.
Burning the family and the bridge. Leaving again as the sky holds on.
nut, berry and skin.
Nothing I say can be easy after this, is too easy.
Though my eyes become pond, my tongue cut to sheath and
If there were a belly to this voice how would I mass this code This clearbelled script
who welcome this deposit tongue double growing rains down from skin.
swarm into vehicle spawn Specifically pluck
stall in stream my body inked note from a strand
path I sang my other in the calculating hair
collecting at flayed stream in the generating body
a skin floating on foam
let this seep away from sentence
tear apart syllable
pulped into page
when asked to explain
line of speech becomes sky
How this poem became a storm, the only explanation withheld
Not much more to say
except cut in half.
Do you still want
thing? Too much
the origin of the implanted tongue, the seeded words
no roots, no home
we grow them
the tongues of baby orphans
they rode each syllable down to breaking
they broke each mouth to bridge
concerns the beginning, what happens then. Nobody leap, no
body escape. All routes paved with
In the future, when you visit my cornerstore, you will not
In the landscape, we still water, feed the lucky eggs,
wait for the mouths to hatch.
They who will feed us, paper our dinners.
This is how I stop making, except cut in half.
Each explaining plants
a monster in the commonplace
In this rumor city, we fog dream. I stop making, cut in
half-Languages follow mouths, ships. Each explaining
plant a common monster
in the book of identities.
My family swallowed this night train. The Language never came back.