diasporic memory

we act like that won't happen to us
like our lands haven't too been ravished
because we gave that up
for the safety
of
our family.
we rejoice at nightmarkets
festivals that dot the landscape
like stars in the sky

but we forget
that fireworks quickly turned into fires
thunders
and when we deny the violence that happens abroad

we inch our way further from home.

we're american
canadian
something new

but the people who make our clothes
but the people who grow our food

they   look   just   like
   us.
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Midnight

Have I always lusted for the past?
Always longed to walk down Rouen
Avec une baguette in tow.
Always wished my present moment
Were coloured and blushed
With the pigment of nostalgic memory
Glossed with centuries-old ink.
Do the shards of heartbreak fester like a quill
Or does the spirit heal over them?
Dissolving like glass into glass.
Until the vase's cracks have reached perfection.
Stained windows, glowing in the moonlight.
A great intelligence, cursed by a speck of sadness.

upon us all

now
i look across this life
under the glowing memory
of days gone by

hanging like a setting horizon upon
an endless turning sea,
austere aquamarines

hanging
like
a kite string
	  slightly slipping ajar
                 from  fingers
                            uncurled

gone in the wind unto
an endless burning sky,
orange-crimson nylon dye

hanging


like smoke rings
always carried
in the breeze,
hanging like sacred smudge

auspicious tiny swirls
hang on the frayed ends of my clothes, little hooks

hanging
like

pictures of a special uncle

hanging
like

soft white coals of
incense

ruined

if the house
if you live in the house
or condo
or hut
or tent
or street
(because, we all once
came from the house)


if
the house
burnt down

what would you remember?

what

would keep you on the verge

of
tears

what

would keep you from spilling
and
poring
for answers

what

pile of ash
would be your

           family  portraits
           grandpa's violin
           christmas cards
           head tax receipt

lost belongings.
proof  of  life.
proof  of
belonging.

what would be left
if the A-frame closed in
on itself,
if dad could not save the roof
with a hose

if water
lost

to flame


would
the sidewalk
bare ashen prints
?


or
would
thebroken lot
bear ferns & grass. & seeds.
&vines
&thorns &twigs &trees,

your
ruins &
flowers

embers

Be warmed by the fires of love.
Be rocks drearily coaxed into slow, radiant heat;
bask baking bare to the breeze. Be the middle of the circle. the centre of family.
the baby born into the arms of grandmother and grandfather.
Be the beat of feet and soft bed of palms turned up to the sky.
Be the whispered moment. Be the background voices and the sound of mom. ear to warm chest,
like the ear to a shell. it is the ocean calling.
Be seen in the dancing shadows. Be the delighted shrieking children.
Be the hunters drinking mead.
Be the warm mug of coffee, cigarette in finger,
hands wrapped ’round glazing clay; looking down
into a bowl of stars.

awakening

inspired by audre lorde

why
do we write things
that we know
we will
forget

why give our memories
a place to die

why
these scars
things i cannot change
stripes on my skin
(on the page pens scrape sharp as teeth)


in a forest
where i fiercely
dwell

the tiger's kill
moans and swells
always a sound sleep
in a silent stalked grass
atop a green blushing hill

belly full
and howling moon
trees hold a solemn silence

pieces of my ear
tossed into the mouths of wolves
scent lost in the wind

under the shroud of night
a naked body wrestles in the sheets
a distant trail of ants converge over the hill
a claw uncurls into the sky
lamps flicker:eyes open