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I have dreams of living at our old house

Jordan Jace

Panning over a screen there are YouTube videos of cuts from a reality tv show. I’m reading in a back room, savoy does homework, my father's voice hovers over the images, describing us. The news is that I long for an archive, a foreclosure, psychical and physical from which a substratum could form, around which a sentiment shell layer could ossify and later be abandoned. Instead it lives with me, I circle melancholy, melancholy circles sea, the past circles, in the center of the concentric past and present merge and harden in my dreams, my blood, my muscle, my cells, like sedimentary rock. Sediments/detritus of being. Any treatise on time is already political. I ask my grandma how my cousin who I’ve never met is doing and she asks me “didn’t you know he died last year.” She says he lived with her and she loved him very much. To foreclose the foreclosure of the line. To know my grandmother was foreclosed (on) bc I searched and paid for her information on white pages. To be reminded in my email every so often “1 person you monitor had an address update.” So I know she was foreclosed or evicted and all but one of the black men that are or were in her life (‘in her life’ itself an extrapolation/demarcation from whatever state, public, and private, resources are available to white pages) are marked by red triangles with exclamation marks in them. It indicates a fee, or a detention, or an arrest. Interestingly there is no icon for the deceased, criminalization being a phenomena of the living, is immortal. the monitoring goes beyond the false horizons of death and the body, tracked until the traces made by the tracking of the body take its place. Of course they live in her mind and memory and her mind and memory resist this without knowing it happens. She goes about her day, texts me my younger brothers’ address (those who I’ve not reached out to in 12 years for reasons I don’t really know and in any case are inexcusable), asks for my address and my birthday. Sometimes she’s so brief in her texts I wonder if secretly she hates me, but the brevity has always been a part of her writing, even when she sent me birthday letters in college I never responded to. I realized one day in a pandemic she might be dead and sat up in the middle of a sea. I emerged on the keyboard, I tracked her. I couldn’t find a metaphor to merge the keyboard to geologic process, or even cloud formation, deciding immediately and without thought it couldn’t be called an anchor. I don’t know what motion the google search allowed me, or how love deferred within certain confines can have surveillance as its conduit for fulfillment. Only under these matrices, the alphabetic continuum of plantation, prison, privatization, etc . . .  hard to find an ending. Longing resists it, the writing resists it, conclusion is a symptom of all historic violences. Is symptomatic. A poet said something about longing stretching you. From here in Rhode Island, with the moon as its conduit my shadow stretches to my brothers. Though this means as little as tapping interested on a Facebook event page for a demonstration. I should call. I should write. should call.

Jordan Jace was raised in Los Angeles and currently living in Providence, RI. A student of abolitionism, their work has been published with Freedom Arts Press, Smoke and Mold, Cosmonauts Avenue, and the Poetry Project’s yearly publication The Recluse

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