francine j. harris, Khadijah Queen, & Natasha Marin
from left to right: francine j. harris, Khadijah Queen, and Natasha Marin
—francine j. harris
between old trees
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
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:
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 Arrowfrom 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
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.