NaPoWriMo: Easier Said, Typicality and More

Hello! A couple of my favourite NaPoWriMo poems so far:

Easier Said

When he dissolves, know that traces 
remain on your fingertips. Absorb what 
you can - worrying about what escapes
will not increase your capacity to retain 
him. Try hard to voice the new things
you find you would have said to him.
Do not allow silence to grow 
where you still expect him, 
his memory dessicated.
Tell a friend
       /your diary
       /the cat
       /but someone. Voice what would 
have made him chuckle or sigh.
Discover what the universe does
differently with him dissolved in it.


Twist fingers together
into knots of missing points.
People are so difficult to
explain: irrational, unfair, blank

where they should shine
and bright where they
should dull themselves
into background.

Explain irrational, unfair, blank
rulebooks. Tell her it doesn’t work
like that, this woman who wants
more than she is wanted.

Witness Rachel Witness Amy

Pulled forward on your chair
Rachel, you sounded like bruise
recognising bruise. The microphone a scouring pad.
Amy in washing up gloves. Amy in fireproof gloves.
Amy telling you to breathe. Amy elbow-deep in your stomach.
Elbow-length gloves for birthing lambs. Or no gloves at all
– just clean hands. You looked like you needed.
You looked like you were given.

Rachel, I’ve seen women in audiences reach for you like that.
(The first time I saw you onstage Hannah had to cover
my body with her body to keep the sobs in.
You were elbow-deep in my stomach. I needed. I was given.)

I acknowledge that I don’t know whether being needed
is a weight on you, or if the cost of giving varies
dependent on who is taking. But I know that being onstage
can hide things from us. And just in case you haven’t seen,
I’ve seen. I’ve seen Black women who give and give and give,
gloves or no, Rachel, I’ve seen them pulled forward
towards you with the same expression on their faces.

The third poem was written for Rachel Nwokoro after we both attended an Amy León gig. Both of them are incredible and if you don’t know their stuff you should take a look.

You can read the rest of the month’s poems so far on Twitter.


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