I too am redacted, unsuitable reptilian,
shell of speech I have forgotten,
unless ravines can drown
each sound they cup from my throat.
Exposed against this anemone August
is a way of unlearning the untaken graft
of leeching questions, a mischief starved in whys.
Why-because too much is the way
of knowing the chrysalis before
it crumples in the sun.
Mud-formed mirror of this sea-formed
rotunda reminds too much
of this face and will, like my mother’s
elusive redraft—pitch blood-knot
terra-form in the spilling
odd generations’ menses—
that must have started some sweet day we can only feign to rescue
from the old Carib cleanse
by test tube and accelerants,
rogue in empire’s wildfire ditched in our bays.
These are the many ways of love, saintly postures learned
in the books dye of our vogue distrusts, fighting the combustive, Antillean understanding of why,
the still-revolt of our bones’ sacred tow—inheritance, unmixable light
considered in the hummingbird’s mapless hum,
scattering this day, only just up, deep into the ground.
Why, even with twelve litany of litanies or reasons to stop
would they choose you
and sell you
and stamp you
and keep you—brief
and name you
and slit you down to kin
and name you
and call you
and breed you, bar you
and breed you, room you and jail you, jail you and cage you, cage you and cage you
Canisia Lubrin was born in St. Lucia. She serves on the editorial board of the Humber Literary Review and as an advisor to the Ontario Book Publishers Organization. With a BA from York University and an MFA from Guelph-Humber, she has contributed poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and criticism to journals and anthologies and inter-arts productions. Her first poetry collection is Voodoo Hypothesis, forthcoming from Wolsak & Wynn in 2017