Scroll down through the list, reading all the fantastic poetry as you go. You’ll find mine around the 18th poem.
She gazes at the flame between her eyes, holds her breath until she is nothing but heart, the world’s pulse between her ears. She finds black feathers at her doorstep, unsure if the augury is good or ill. Each night she folds her legs and disappears into the sacred fire. She greets the sunrise with a sigh.
Voices echo conversations on eschatology and doom. She hides from them behind guitars’ excruciating sweet. Words repeat themselves perpetually in silence. She sees pictures on the wall where there are none.
She knows little of souls but talks to the dead, visits them in their tombs inside her body. Somewhere outside her head, the smell of palo santo smolders. Somewhere, the sounds of hard wind through metal and water dripping. Floorboards creak and a door closes, of their own accord. She never knows whether her ghosts linger, or if she binds them to her, refusing to let them go.
In her sleep, she wraps herself in sheets like Lazarus. When she wakes, she arises from the grave into a world of dust and blinding sun, the desert heat a shroud. There are no dreams here, just her third eye ablaze. She dresses in the memory of rain. Her hair a burning nimbus, her reflection falls into the caves beneath her eyes.
Everything is bleached as coyote bones in this landscape she wanders, and every living thing has thorns. The path is full of rock, forlorn scat, and sorrow. Everyday she trips and falls.
When the flame fades she returns to now, along with ordinary sight. The flicker of candles glows on the other side of her eyelids. The sound of heartbeat subsides and that of barking dogs and sirens resume. She realizes the music had been inside her head, as had the desert, the thorns, and the talking dead
Sasha Pimentel is a Filipina poet and author of For Want of Water (Beacon Press, 2017), selected by Gregory Pardlo as winner of the 2016 National Poetry Series, and Insides She Swallowed (West End Press, 2010), winner of the 2011 American Book Award. A finalist for the 2015 Rome Prize in Literature (American Academy of Arts and Letters).
dedicated to Trayvon Martin
focus on Kandinsky’s white dot
let the banality of real disappear
the colors like musical chords
the drama of primary
the black on white of keys
the white dot
it makes everything else black
dark holes envelope the whole
the emptiness of space stretching
from your there to my here
artificial constructs of time and space
memories of colors red and yellow
the impact of light on matter
what matter gives up to the eye
what it keeps for itself is black
black the color of all colors
the white dot in the dark whole
the sound of breath inside your head
imagines you are more than a dream
but your there is only a dream
my here nothing but a dreaM
forget the rules of the academy
there are no rules
forget theory of the iconoclasts
remember Einstein was wrong
there is no theory of everything
everything does not exist
the there and the here
the other there’s and other here’s
this earth spinning in a black void
energy moving through void to place
a truck leaves full of blue Buddhas
music born of an inner necessity
the disappearance of self and other
the meaninglessness of there and here
a white dot in the dark whole
published in BorderSenses 19, 2013