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The Brooklyn Rail

APR 2016

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Having been always (before and after everything), without limits of time, as if in existence without attachment, untethered from happenings rooted to temporality.

The body is made of many arches and windows. Enter this structure, the entrances to the many houses of god.

And, yet, each morning a fireheart grief in the body coming out of sleep. The listening to the smoke as it fills and weeps inside the chest, choking strength out hands weighted, dangling. We wonder where else it lives before it fills the body up. We assume it comes inside through the hole that promises invasion.

This layering of forms pushes the body toward abstraction. We have stolen madness from the white people. An Asian white man will call us a crazy bitch in a text. But we have long done been free. Coffee is brought to our body bedside on a silver tray. We are unrepresentable. We sip into the griefmouth.

Excerpt: previously published, as part of a suite of poems, in BOMB Magazine.


Dawn Lundy Martin

DAWN LUNDY MARTIN is an American poet and activist. She earned a BA at the University of Connecticut, an MA at San Francisco State University, and a Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her poetry collections include Discipline (2011), and A Gathering of Matter/A Matter of Gathering (2007), which was selected for the Cave Canem Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. With Vivien Labaton, Martin coedited The Fire This Time: Young Activists and the New Feminism (2004). She also cofounded both the Third Wave Foundation and the post-theorist Black Took Collective. She has received the Academy of American Arts and Science’s May Sarton Prize for Poetry as well as grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Martin has taught at the University of Pittsburgh, The New School, and Bard College.


The Brooklyn Rail

APR 2016

All Issues