Kalan Sherrard

POETRY [A Moment Breaking Loose from the Past Becomes the Voice Inside Your Head]

Jackie Wang

Where
in this architecture of dust
will you find the space to build
a house that does not split?

There

I see your hand
trying to escape
the raw activity
of laying stones

Formations
will spryly emerge
the dampened loam shaped
into something terrible

From the mud she tells me,
“Some days I wake up laughing because these forms are so unnecessary”
“Some days I wake up crying because these forms are so unnecessary”

But if you will have it
the hollow egg will fall
shrouded in
iridescent fish scales

This
is the texture of the 21st century
in the shadow cast by zero:
a fracture beneath the canopy
We wait for the rain to stop
and the answer to come in the
form of a simple question

But what good is a question
when a question flung in saltwater
drowns in saline night terrors?

“Go on, I’m listening”
No,
you’re so goddamn busy
dreaming the particulate dream
of broken boughs
scattered across the dead zone
where the sound fails to circulate
and the question dies
in the silence of inert space

Here
there is no Friend
just the soundless reverberations of
the disappeared, an errant herd
of revenants who roam the
page in search of a body faithful
enough to hold the memory

Do you remember
the threads cast in your sleep
when you gently parted the soil
and planted the gift of her face?

These threads—which you secrete
when you believe no one is looking
allow me to trace the face you
make when I ask how a body
bathed in the blood of the nidus flood
sheds the nothing from which it springs

[You are free to void me.
That is what’s at stake when I speak to you like this:
the one who is addressed is captured by the question
while the one who asks is diminished—is humiliated
by the addressee’s silence.]

Jackie Wang is a poet, library rat, trauma monster, harpist, and Assistant Professor of Culture and Media Studies at The New School.

Copyright © The Drift 2021