poem


I remember you like a sea
an artifact of beauty
I could rationalize in bones,
the décolletage
of a fish

such a composition etched into me
like a second skull,
the Red Sea
calling
ancestors in a play
of shadow and
light upon water
that caused me to recede

I remember receding
into new anatomical depths,
the sands of our spines
bleeding into oceans;

once you may have met me
in Abyssinia,

the image of you always characterized
by distance,
re-memory
I bring you back in waves of wax
and gold, for our love
was always an unearthly idea
impossible for any image

we were trying
trying to
immortalize
rather than come and go

but even sensations of old
will stop moving, which is why
we have
used each other up

my own chest now
sinking at the thought, the dispersion
of grief into a poem,
ocean,
recollection of bones

for the sake of all archeologists
who revisit what has gone
only to return to themselves

just as ex-lovers and historians must
recall
in order to forget.

————————————–

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Adebe D.A. View All →

Adebe DeRango-Adem is a writer whose work has been published in sources such as The Claremont Review, CV2, the Toronto Star, Room Magazine, Cosmonauts Avenue and Jacket2 (forthcoming). She is a former attendee of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics (Naropa University), where she mentored with poets Anne Waldman and Amiri Baraka. Her debut book of poems, Ex Nihilo (Frontenac House, 2010) is a text that considers how art can respond to the annihilation of particular identities struggling to exist in an impossibly post-racial world. In the same year of its publication, Ex Nihilo became a finalist for the Dylan Thomas Prize, the world’s largest prize for writers under thirty. Adebe DeRango-Adem is also the editor, with Andrea Thompson, of Other Tongues: Mixed-Race Women Speak Out (Inanna Publications, 2010), an anthology of art & writing that explores the question of how mixed-race women in North America identify in the twenty-first century. Her most recent poetry collection, Terra Incognita (Inanna Publications, 2015), creatively explores various racial discourses and interracial crossings both buried in the grand narratives of history and the everyday experiences of being mixed-race. Poems from the collection were longlisted for the 2016 Cosmonauts Avenue Poetry Prize, judged by award-winning poet Claudia Rankine. Terra Incognita was also nominated for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Adebe was called a “young writer to watch” in 2016 by Canada’s Parliamentary Poet Laureate, George Elliott Clarke, on behalf of the CBC. Her newest poetry collection, The Unmooring, was published in 2018 by Mansfield Press. A poem from the collection was featured in the 2019 Poem-In-Your-Pocket anthology, co-created by the League of Canadian Poets and the Academy of American Poets. She served as the 2019-20 Barbara Smith Writer-in-Residence with Twelve Literary Arts, in Cleveland, Ohio.

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