Issue 2 : Spring 2011

About Author:

  • Ana-Maurine Lara

    Ana-Maurine Lara is an award-winning novelist and poet. Her poetry and short fiction have appeared in numerous literary journals including Sable LitMag and Callaloo, among others. She is a Cave Canem Fellow and is currently working on a PhD in...


A Poem in Two Directions or How the Northeast Speaks to Me of You


gingko yellow leaves

a pond

your landscape

is ruddy and warm

your heart’s...

(your feet have been cold)

I see

gingko yellow

a pond

some tattoos

the edges of you -

maple red

ever green green

(a silver edge it is)

gingko yellow



winter light

full moon tattoo

(graffiti tags)

cloudy sky blue

split swollen granite

rusty metal rail ties

whispering brush

orange burst berries

lightning-split tree trunks

elements of you

gentle edges

roughly-hued wood

graffiti spelling


worn brick red

all this is true.



for irmary


the hollow between

the sharp of teeth


the yielding of tongue


the shift of feet

amid ruffled sheets


a murmur of breath

before the dance of sleep


dusk surrenders to indigo


the day giving way

to time


the night giving way

to timelessness


dreaming feels like


the sway of reeds

along a sea-side road


the ripple of stone

dancing on the water


Ten Things I Can’t Live Without

For D’Lo

1. It’s two a.m. and we’ve been talking for hours now. I’m falling asleep but I know that it’s my strength you’re counting on. Because that’s what we have: each other’s strength. So, I turn on one more lamp in my winter dark bedroom, sit up against the wall, press the phone closer to my ear.

2. I developed thick calluses on my heels when I was only ten years old. Years later, I learned that calluses block chi. Years later, I learned that calluses are important. I like to walk barefoot on beaches, on grass, in mud. To feel my heels soften against the earth.

3. A poem is breath between letters, cadence, song, lyric, verse. Regardless of shape or form, I cannot live without poetry.

4. Chocolate.

5. As kids my brothers and I used to tell the joke over and over again. The one about the turtle crossing the road. Over and over, we’d burst into fits of laughter before even finishing the question. Why [laughter] did the turtle [laughter] cross [laughter] the road? [laughter] [laughter] [laughter]

6. The secrets locked inside our bodies. My own and hers.

7. Dancing is each step a mark on soil undone by other marks on soil, arms closer to the moon, feet among stars, a breath drawn from the depths of mirrors, up through eternity, waiting for dawn.

8. Because I was born on an island. Because when I was six months old, the water’s pulse was stronger than my own. Because it’s where we come from. Because of that fan coral I once saw. Because the color blue out there among the reefs still makes me cry. Because of all those dreams in which I live along its depths.

9. Beauty: Abandoned train yards in winter. Fields of bluebonnets and paintbrush. Lagoons, rivers, waterfalls. Beauty: Dawn. Dusk. Dragonflies. Deserts. Dew. Beauty: The sun on rocks. A golden forest. Deer. Beauty: lives just under my skin, makes my blood slow, makes me cry.

10. Each time you ask me about my life and I get to tell you a story. Something about adventures. Something about life, and near misses. What I ate and the way the flavors shaped themselves around my tongue. The things I’ve seen/heard/tasted/smelled which I share with you in any way I can just so that I really see/hear/taste and smell them. When you ask, and I get to tell you. I’m Here. Right here. Where I’ve always been. Right here next to you.


February 16, 2011


New Haven, CT

The Ontology of Us

~for i.r.s.

1. Coral

Full moon, a night breeze

brushes the water's skin

into pools of light.

Tonight the deep tides turn;

the reefs call in the elders.

Bones akin to budded branches,

dance over ancestors'

rendered remains:

sand against our toes, sand:

where we dance.


2. Amethyst

Shadows carress the field,

bent stalks repose

against the passing wind.

Along the hem of flowers

you walk. A curl of your hair

catches on a stem

of blossoms

and for one boundless moment

earth and sky are one.


3. Between

amorphous nebulous shapeless unformed undefined

becoming growing emerging inclining transforming

beautiful graceful congruous worthy

a sum of parts

a luminous field

fecund waters

a jump a leap a jive a strut a whirl

Afrobeat Journal - Article

Comments [1]

so beautiful...
anjalialimchandani [AT] gmail [DOT] com
thank you for sharing these words:)

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