Asiya Wadud.jpg

Two Poems

Asiya Wadud

then take shelter

 

the quiet latitude of supplication 

obsidian as refractors

childhood like a hushed eddy

objections rise from the space we make



 

boulders matter at the earth’s surface

the friction abets the tectonic slippage  



 

                       objection’s eddy or the space we make as refractors


 

supplication by any other name         felsic lava extruded or obsidian


 

take umbrage from the falling

chamber

take stock of the rift then claim it

the eddy does its little dervish

take in all its conditions

all of childhood’s revenants




 

                       phrasal movements

                       advance the language

                       keeps all phrasing just below the

                       surface

                       felsic lava extruded or obsidian

                       forms a glass-ringed covenant


 

then objections rise from the space we make

black viscosity acts as covenant

pillbox another virtue          place all objects in my hand

 

I have carried with me the long rope

clawed and cleaved to reach the 

brittle rock

claimed that I did my best

to circumvent the sharpest edges


 

obsidian as refractors              like the ancients let the glass act as mirrors

saw my own trailing hem then gathered it 

                                                          and brought the rough edges toward the

                                                                                             tainted mirrors



 

                                                                       all 

                                                                       the

                                                                       ways

                                                                       looking begets sight


 

                                                                       close our eyes and still we 

                                                                       see 

                                                                       sightline as wayward movement

                                                                       desire line as the thin veil cloaks me


 

childhood like an eddy

objections rise from

the space we make

 

 

all the chambers 

in our peripheries 

let me act as a guided arrowhead

such precision despite the distance 

how I’d attune myself to the wind

how I’d adjust to slight my gilded target

grazing country          before I’d claim it

the land existed in its own merit

its credence wasn’t in us naming it 



 

take shelter from the falling

temperatures

take stock of the permanent rift then claim it

the eddy does its little dervish

take in all its conditions


 

                                            all the ways want reconfigures me

                                            makes apparent the sieve of me

                                            lays bare the drift again

                                            how want becomes the forever burden

                                                        or otherwise its gentle forward movement 



 

often there is the question of need

as in how does any animal grow to fill its own vacuous need

its tender claws clean cut predator or prey

all hind and hinderance 

all puritan and pounce

veil and pin prick

 

                                                                       all 

                                                                       the

                                                                       ways

                                                                       looking begets my 

                                                                       shallow logic

                                                                       my obsidian estruscan thoughts 

                                                                       power in the peninsula

                                                                       hill-strewn villages

                                                                       colliding at the stone walls

and

little slit into the unknown

mother tongue as a bifurcation

good word as the staid

object

objections rise from

the space we make

echo exhibit

resistance resistance will meet us

 

________________________________________________________

 

 

V O I C E S:

            e c h o: choral residue into an empty space

            r e s i s t a n c e: empty space abuts more empty space

            e c h o   &   r e s i s t a n c e: reflection in double and pushing past the double

_________________________________________________________

e c h o:             I cannot                   say

r e s i s t a n c e:          I cannot                    say

e c h o:             what kind of echo 

r e s i s t a n c e:         what kind of echo 


 

e c h o:  will find me 

r e s i s t a n c e:   will find me




 

e c h o:             will keep me

r e s i s t a n c e:         will keep me


 

                                                                     e c h o   &   r e s i s t a n c e:    

will help me breathe

will help me breathe

this portion

this portion

tonight






 

e c h o:   I cannot say

r e s i s t a n c e:  I cannot say



 

e c h o:   what kind of echo 

r e s i s t a n c e:   what kind of echo 


 

e c h o:   will match this

r e s i s t a n c e:  will match this

 

e c h o:   capacious

r e s i s t a n c e:   capacious

 

r e s i s t a n c e:  sure distance

e c h o   &   r e s i s t a n c e:  long distance 

tonight 

 

e c h o:   I will not  

r e s i s t a n c e:   I will not  

 

                                                                                                         e c h o:

neatness

say

neatness

 

e c h o:     what reasons

r e s i s t a n c e:   what reason 

 

e c h o:   the echo

r e s i s t a n c e:   the echo

 

e c h o:   this evening

r e s i s t a n c e:   this evening


 

e c h o:   will meet us

r e s i s t a n c e:   will meet us

e c h o   &   r e s i s t a n c e:  

tonight

tonight 


 

e c h o:   the ocean

r e s i s t a n c e:  or ocean



 

e c h o:   this evening

r e s i s t a n c e:  this evening

e c h o   &   r e s i s t a n c e:    tonight 

Asiya Wadud is the author of Crosslight for Youngbird (Nightboat Books, 2018) day pulls down the sky . . . a filament in gold leaf, written collaboratively with Okwui Okpokwasili (Belladonna/ Danspace, 2019), Syncope (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2019) and the forthcoming No Knowledge Is Complete Until It Passes Through My Body. A member of the Belladonna Collaborative, her work has been supported by the Foundation Jan Michalski, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Danspace Project, Dickinson House, Mount Tremper Arts, and the New York Public Library, among others. Asiya is a 2019-2020 Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Artist-in-Residence and also currently a writer-in-residence at Danspace Project. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Nat. Brut is a proud winner of a 2020 Whiting Literary Magazine Prize