“Sipin Gabon” : a revised, new poem. Enjoy.

 

 

 

names

the heat came upon my body like a memory of los angeles, and into sleep i crawled, remembering the sound of the fan as he caressed the spine and sweat of my back — this brown body, an extension of my body, his arms and legs and heart tied to me in marriage

this is what heat brings: curved memories

of he who would run away with me to las vegas, he who would enlist in desperation after losing that yellow-and-blue house with the room and the spinning fan—i say again, this is what heat brings: curved memories

can we forget them like we forget our names?

but they curl like islands, our names, they’re islands hailing from china to africa
soil to our feet & hands & eyes & hair & brownness & skins & tongues & words

they’re words made of
brown bodies

intertwining & intermeshing & murdered & colonized & forgotten & exhumed & words

the heat, the smell, bring me back to him. he’s placed beneath the ribcage, black lines curving, his heart tied to the sweat and spine and names tattooed on my back

they meet like language spreading across a page, across our bodies, across silence, across an ocean, across land and bones, these names meet in the heat that raptures my arms and neck and back and hands and legs and feet: i dream

i awake rejuvenated, cradled in that memory beneath the fan spinning, in that darkness, that warmth fleeting, and i carry on with the memories of home, of him, of heat buried in belly and song

 

 

 

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