Poet of the Week: Rachel Nelson

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After Kara Walker’s Freedom: A fable (1997)


Perhaps she would begin with the sea
(where did it go?), or the sweet
dim reprieve from the sun, or the rain
she cannot seem to move from beneath.

Or perhaps she would not want to say.
Her breast bare, she is instead
protecting her teeth: lips set,
the words moving below them like bees in a hive.

One hand is still waiting for the seed
of the other hand to stem.
Her body has not yet grown the boat.

When I close the book
her heel will lift and the shade tree
will close in quick winter.
The spine will just avoid breaking her in half.

Here is the fable:
the leg that stopped running
shades her face from the sun.
It has found no other escape but bark.

On the land she has built for her herself
she is safest in full sight. Blooming
everything usable from her own body.
The flower in the hand she has left is for us.



Published by Huizache

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