plans

by K. Eltinaé

Every time I say ‘yes’ I return

feel fingers in a battlefield

divvying land on my arms and chest.

You want to build something with my lips over memories when we fall asleep

so I tell the truth.

 

Sometimes I think

my hope is living elsewhere.

A single mom raising children

who communicate in sign language.

I know

my passport is a sign people miss on the highway

& swear was never there until they count every visa

I’ve overstayed & start pointing fingers.

I believe

we all come back

from this life as the cats in Istanbul.

I need

you to understand that all we will ever be are immigrants,

that when the land recedes the water won’t

know the color of our skin but our bones will.

Sometimes I want

to visit and settle in love but there

are landmines at the border leading to every fantasy door.

Sometimes if you look

hard enough at something it will bloom in your eyes &

make countries for refugees no one took in.

________________________________

Co-winner of the 2019 #DignityNotDetention Outside Prize

from the judge, Ilya Kaminsky

Lullabies. Wailing Songs. Spells. Those were our species’ first poems. I love how this poem weaves a spell, conjuring something into being, making the impossible feel possible: “Sometimes if you look / hard enough at something it will bloom in your eyes & / make countries for refugees no one took in.”

 

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap