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Poet of the Week: Chiyuma Elliott

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Second Life

Words are tricky as paper.
Fast as your hands can move, they can fold
into a crane or a frog, a hat or a fish.
Even though you only ask me simple questions,
the way you lean against the doorframe
and ask: did I buy milk at the store,
why am I still awake at four a.m.?
My thoughts pickle.

Because I’ve stayed up all night.
Because I’ve looked deep into the monitor’s heart
and found unending strings of ones and zeros.
Look—I’ve made us a mansion and a virtual dog.
And I’ve found you, and clothed you
in the bright colors you used to wear. Look here—

you’re turning a page, I’m cutting the grass.

Originally appeared in California Winter League (2015). Reprinted courtesy of Unicorn Press.

Chiyuma Elliott’s Poets Tour Profile