Place[meant] is a recurring series that explores identity beyond the geopolitical and physical parameters that have come to define our sense of place. From a train in Queens to the cuff of a bodily spell, the poems in this series navigate place as both material terrain and residual traces of one’s memory. Place[meant] delves into how migration, diaspora, borders, technologies of power and control, biopolitics, and historical violence shape our identities, the powers of which are anything but benign.


first mid-autumn festival away from home

 

second diaspora barely mine. a home
not our heavy tongues
cradling a sliver of yolk,
our own waning moon to pierce
shrouded night. one that drapes
like a blanket of wine.

 

I propel myself through a black
tube across planets in a blink
anywhere is closer to my heart
lost in the small kingdom
of a mountain’s spine

 

a precarious observatory
if my cells unspooled I could
climb a helix to the moon
and back a thousand times.

 

The invisible pulls me back.
How many migrations
does my body possess?

 

Is it my viscera?

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