Quenching

Saddiq Dzukogi

It is to be hoped that a treewill let its leaves rotinto earth as nourishment;I am searchingfor the name of my daughter,a piece of ribbonI found hanging on the door-hedge—I stare long until I hearher voice risingfrom the knotted edges of the silk.And I enter into a conversationlike a race-horse released into fire.The ribbon stuffedwith all her words, frothinglike a burning pieceof a butterfly's wing, greetedwith water baubles—I mean itin contrast of the disrobingsilence of quenching.The redwood flower un-wiltsinto a new fragrance, a smelllike the moon commonto every night that visits,clatters along all the cranniesof an unforgettable half-sideof a dark day—wideninginto newer edges,the willow that fallsinto the ears of God, a thrushhousing its bodyinside its own wet wings.Do you not see, child?Once your songs endureinside my bones,they will consume the loneliness,yours and mine.

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Saddiq Dzukogi is the author of Inside the Flower Room, selected by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani for the APBF New Generation African Poets Chapbook Series (forthcoming in 2018). His poems appear or are forthcoming in Kenyon Review, New Orleans Review, South Dakota Review, Crab Orchard Review, Prairie Schooner, Best American Experimental Writing Series, and Verse Daily. He is also a fellow of the Ebedi International Writers Residency.

Diagram 18.6

18.6

Tucson, Arizona

Editor
Ander Monson

Poetry Editors
Rafael Gonzalez, Heidi Gotz, and Katie Jean Shinkle

Assistant Poetry Editors
Andie Francis, Eliza Harris, David Kutz-Marks, Gwyneth Merner, and Claire Meuschke

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As our name indicates, we're interested in representations. In naming. In indicating. In schematics. In the labelling and taxonomy of things. In poems that masquerade as stories; in stories that disguise themselves as indices or obituaries.

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