we’ve started to disassemble the land mines / and plant roses and poems instead.
I recall the prickly pear shrub that never failed to pierce me as I tucked my skinny body behind it, trying to hide…
i want metaphors to taste as good / as bread soaked in milk
Morning headaches are set to blow up my brain / The extra gift of great machines
I am afraid / no one understands // the gentle mind of someone / living like a hermit
If it wasn’t for our inborn optimism –
we drop coins into the sea, plant pear trees that are going to grow for centuries –
understanding of reality would burn us
like a match may burn poplar fluff
Today the warden has come to visit. He hands me a napkin with a color print of “The Storming of the Bastille” on one side, an escape plan on the other.
She’s bellowing to herself as she sits on the little portable stool. Vendors are charged an arm and a leg to get into the antiques fair.
This is an excerpt from the fourth major section of the book Africana (Gyldendal, 2019). Translations of other chapters can be found in Asymptote, Wilderness House Literary Review, and Delos (University of Florida Press).
“We were arguing,” she said. Her eyes felt wide. Her palms were drenched in sweat.
“What?” Her boyfriend grabbed her elbow. He felt like fire. She pulled away. And he looked pale to her. Pale as bones. She smelled smoke. “When?”
“I don’t know. I don’t remember.” The incense singed her nose. Everything was aflame. “Wedding invitations?”