francine j. harris, Khadijah Queen, & Natasha Marin

from left to right: francine j. harris, Khadijah Queen, and Natasha Marin



between old trees

             —francine j. harris

there's a rain formed.  it has a face that reminds you

of hills.  it has a country you could name if you were smarter.
it has a kind of mouth.  it seems wrecked from all the commotion
of a windstorm.  it has tear ducts, and what does that say about
you.  it lives by the hope that someday again, there may
be bluing in a backyard wash, so far off
the sky.  this is why children
chalk suns on the sidewalk. the wind brings north
through a hundred miles
of inanimate things. 

when it hits, all the places you have been
seem too late to talk about.  all is gray
that storms, and it crosses the country on busses,
looks for burned trash, hopes to see enough rivers,
hums something you can't quite remember
but still you sleep.  still, you wear no shoes
against the pavement and sometimes
the lightning, sometimes a wet rail
you lean over.


(purification: wolf moon)

                                 —Khadijah Queen

O

I stood in the earth's skull & swept
my fur skirts clean, I grew tall
& taller, shed the dust,
shed supple hunch, crown of wild
dandelion & ate it; humid breath
stretched my weedy neck & bent
my arms into scythes: blue-tongued
& sharp-mouthed, I stood
between beasts & thorn trees & waited:

O

I heard a howling, but did not run
I heard a howling, but did not run
I heard a howling, but did not run


 

Dokuya: Poisoned Arrow

from The Kanji Notebooks
                                                    —Natasha Marin

 

A Haitian woman returns home

to find curdled bodies drawing flies.

Among the gangrenous body parts—her sister's hands.

 

Ten thousand bodies decompose

beneath the rocks. They don't make a sound

and no one is listening.

 

A man like Jesus is naked except

for a towel. The ground under his body

is streaked with blood and still quakes.

 

Before administering the anesthesia,

her sister's eyes look up with a question:

but her mouth doesn't move as her hands are taken.



* * *

francine j. harris' poem originally appeared in Eleven Eleven Journal,
issue #6, 2009. Reprinted with the permission of the author. All Rights
Reserved.

Khadijah Queen's poem is reprinted with the permission of the author.
All Rights Reserved.

Natasha Marin's poem is reprinted with the permission of the author.
All Rights Reserved.
 
 

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