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.
I am knee-deep in rosemary, flowering editorial
My bedroom leaks camphor and anise, warm roots rooting
No one needs another memoir abt a white girl
but here we are, my whiteness a neutrality I can fade into, dozens of shades of me lining all public, all
trenched, worming through downtown tasseled or flat, texture an afterthought.
As long as men’s narrative are courageous I purge here and in the street, behind buildings no longer
mine, jewel. Glass shawl knotted in bodega bag, my mouth unhooked like a flag
are we so neutral as to be blank, all others figures cast over the draped sheet, objective backdropcloth
wrinkled with violence? In an instant, we erase by refusing to acknowledge an other, a dynamic character
outside of our collective self
I can barely stand how vast you wanted me to be, stretch gargantuan, thinning, edges tearing like dough,
passive as a stretch