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lifeinpoetry · 4 hours ago
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I skipped meals. Trimmed fat.                       Dreamed of another body,          revised                       again & again like the rough draft of a coast.
I was always a mouthful away         from unbecoming.
— torrin a. greathouse, from “All I Ever Wanted to Be Was Nothing at All,” Wound from the Mouth of a Wound
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lifeinpoetry · 9 hours ago
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This story is about sex. But not how you assume it is. Words load themselves like a gun. I say gag, you are already imagining the scent of sweat, the sound of one body choking on another. Instead I mean the desperate of one body to empty itself into change. Instead I mean ketosis, acid stained teeth. The words do all the work for me. Reframe the story so it tells itself, before I even open my mouth.
— torrin a. greathouse, from “Discovering My Gag Reflex, an Absence,” Wound from the Mouth of a Wound
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lifeinpoetry · 14 hours ago
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The shower stall my body’s confessional —here, I admit, I love most what can be removed from me.
I raise the heat until my thighs bloom with small guilty hands, scrub dead cells, till new skin to soil.
Trace fingernails across my skin, each red ghost they leave behind, a scalpel daydream, plowed & opened dirt.
— torrin a. greathouse, from “Weeds,” Wound from the Mouth of a Wound
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lifeinpoetry · a day ago
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              I will not say the words                  scorching both our tongues.
Will not let this become another metaphor
       for how my family taught me              my body as another name for pyre.
— torrin a. greathouse, from “All I Ever Wanted to Be Was Nothing at All,” Wound from the Mouth of a Wound
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lifeinpoetry · a day ago
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& isn’t this just like my poems? / Dressing a violence in something pretty & telling it to dance?
— torrin a. greathouse, from “Ekphrasis on My Rapist’s Wedding Dress,” Wound from the Mouth of a Wound
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lifeinpoetry · a day ago
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Proverb
Terror infests the heart like hornets which breed in a miasma of violence, whose brood vomit a sugar substance     for the nest—     no room for a friend.
— Derrick Austin, from Tenderness
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lifeinpoetry · 2 days ago
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I feared a knock at the door. I needed a hand. Would you have found me on the deflated air mattress, among filthy shirts, half-eaten food? I don’t know what to call doubt when you are here and I am not. What is it to be exiled in you?
— Derrick Austin, from “Remembering God After Three Years of Depression,” Tenderness
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lifeinpoetry · 2 days ago
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I have sat under the girth of quaking aspens, their honeyed heads, yellow combs, leafs of long hair, and because I have raked my forearms with tines of confused adolescence, picked the balk of brown skin from beneath my fingernails, and because I have understood the eulogy
— Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley, from “In the Coffin Meant for Chief Little Horse, Archeologists Instead Find Two Others,” Dēmos
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lifeinpoetry · 2 days ago
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Now that I’ve survived when does living begin?
— Derrick Austin, from “My Education,” Tenderness
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lifeinpoetry · 3 days ago
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We breathe together.
On our trip, we ask for what we need without fear;
we refill each other’s cups—
I didn’t know I could choose any of this.
— Derrick Austin, from “To Friendship,” Tenderness
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lifeinpoetry · 3 days ago
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Lapping puddles under slash pines, the horses jolt, moving me toward a joy I did not give myself                                                       room to consider, trying my damnedest to live                                                       in this vulgar country bracketed by water—
— Derrick Austin, from “Cumberland Island,” Tenderness
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lifeinpoetry · 3 days ago
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How is it where you are? Up there. In your feelings. / In your body, your beautiful, breathing body.
— Derrick Austin, from “Thinking of Romanticism, Thinking of Drake,” Tenderness
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lifeinpoetry · 4 days ago
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This is why we dance: Because screaming isn’t free.
Please tell me: Why is anger–even anger–a luxury to me?
— Mohammed El-Kurd, from “This Is Why We Dance,” Rifqa
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lifeinpoetry · 4 days ago
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I am told I am nameless, we’ve spit out             English, but this game
of interpreting shadow,             reading bodies into holes of text: a memory trick of presence.
            O Ancestors, I’ve inherited passing: how to disappear straight and             to alveolarize my name, all blue,
bribed by silk and hate, a relic
— Rajiv Mohabir, from “Hiranyagarbha,” Cutlish
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lifeinpoetry · 4 days ago
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She left poetry. What I write      is an almost. I write                                an attempt.
— Mohammed El-Kurd, from “Rifqa,” Rifqa
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lifeinpoetry · 5 days ago
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the sky weeps crocodile tears it cries, it weeps, it cries, and it stops … it cries, it weeps, it cries, and it stops … it cries, it weeps, it cries, and it stops … the rain … a sheen of poetry to beat back the burning sun of these last days
— Fiston Mwanza Mujila, from “SOLITUDE 39,” The River in the Belly, tr. J. Bret Maney
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lifeinpoetry · 5 days ago
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i am not between two languages—one language controls me and the other is a lost ocean
— Craig Santos Perez, from “from sourcings,” from unincorporated territory [saina]
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