He Seems Different, 1999, from the series Soul Erased, Joyce Scott
High left corner zinnia sun black and white above the tilt and grin skeleton inan x-ray purple shirtdress—:Baby boy stands, already knee deepin the hill, both feet in the grave,a sack of bones with sweet straight teeth,the pained grin of the mischievouschild. Curious tilt. Chubby cheeks &forehead shine. Strange grey eyes.The child who bites in the classroom.Wants love but wants to sink hisno longer babyteeth into the subject.He is the subject. He seems different.Subject verb. Seeming looks likeenumerated bones. In future will hebe kept in a drawer? In future hewill be stored. ③ near the clavicle.⑤ over the heart. The mountain holdshis feet. Little feet held in granite. Littlepelvis—: Little fish, what’s leftoverafter dinner? Someone has eatenthe eye. Picked clean mealof scrunch-nosed kora smile—:discarded. Not cement shoes, butstill—LVCS
The Starry Night
How little it takes to blend in,To become a cloudy night,To watch nipples turn into vague stars,And toes curl into imitations of light—To become a disappointment.We so rarely wonder about the moon's neighbor. How doesThe moonTake up everything?I turn how are youInto a million different questions,Into a conversation,Into a cloudy night.What was needy became a shooting star,What was stumbling out of pain became the sunrise,Became orange glimmers peeking out of something asking and waiting for the answer.Why are so many people being killed,Why am I not,What is in this countryside night that allows me to survive?I would like no permission,I would like to be given nothing.This telescope doesn't work;There's nothing in the sky tonight.LC
Copyright © 2019 by Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon & Leela Chantrelle
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Leading with a Naked Body: Poems in Conversation & a Conversation by Lyrae van Clief-Stefanon & Leela Chantrelle
The sixth in the Conversation Chapbook Series, Master Poet, Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon mentors emerging poet, Leela Chantrelle and the two record an interview on craft.