from Good Stock
Dawn Lundy Martin will serve as a guest editor of the PEN Poetry Series beginning in October 2015. Read an interview with Martin here.
from Good Stock
O, release, this rough
to be born of Sarah’s head, through
sieve, seized wreckage,
our laboring hulk—age-old sag—
metal dust beyond dark space
is possible tribe
under stain, father’s black tongue—
Neck exposed toward sky,
shins bubbling in heat—
is positioned for irretrievable
______________loss, one in each archway
picturesque as summer—
one layer gone, another absolute without—
Ibibio shrine. Ibibio man in a cowboy hat.
—the holding place—
on edge of continent—late day falls—gut
tumbling, night warm, welted warmth [We
Stare through this window in
my belly where my mother
left her good stock, her pertinent cells,
her matter that matters—
Tiny particles forever floating—
What is more frightening than a black face
confronting your gaze from the display case?
My form against those at border
[arbitrary line] [perish]
knocking among other refugees
—no one to help
—thousands buried by water
A butchered animal at my feet.
Wolves howl. Soot falls from sky.
The rescuers are never prepared.
And we, here, amid a failure of images.
Scrub a spot whiter than before.
Demarcate before there is nothing left.
Breath into white sand. The dead ache so.
Want touch want devotion
Our mother was queen
of all of Europe—
Mother, this is our head
on a tendril root
waving into sky—
Lift last leaf of skin,
place inside a doorway—
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