TWO POEMS

Louie Leyson

ISSUE THIRTEEN | FALL 2019

thank u Rihanna

 

when Rihanna said do my tits 

bother you? they’re covered in Swarovski crystals

 

girl! to all those white reporters in smoky 

black eyeshadow & baby pink fur stole, head 

 

tilting like a soft gazelle, body a studded 

brown comet in motion, her laugh the laugh 

 

of furious Medusa with serpents whittled down 

to quick flashes of light, open grin

 

a glossy fish gone swimming through my blue

maze of blood to heal something deep 

 

& nameless inside me, I took that moment 

in my mouth & swallowed it 

 

like medicine. there’s something about 

the cosmos mapped onto a woman’s

 

tits that makes girls dream of turning

themselves into incandescence. 

 

in another timeline I too throw my head back

& laugh, 250,000 Swarovski crystals sewn

 

across the copper landscape of my body,

a glittering aftermath of meteorites, 

 

a girl-shaped disco ball reflecting enough 

camera flash to lose the importance 

 

of flesh, to become nothing else 

but multiplicities of daylight. 

inheritance of glaciers 

 

i.

my Lolo was framing his mother / in sunlight strokes, brush-to-long-dimness of salakot’s shadow / falling over the piña fabric / of her humble baro't saya / when the Japanese entered / without knocking / & slung him like a rice sack / over their shoulders 

 

/ to cage him on a lonely ship / to christen him anew / painter turned forger 

 

/ of mickey mouse pesos

 

ii.

when my windpipe filled with chlorine water / in the 10-foot deep-end of Valcartier / my lungs were phantom-carved by an ocean’s apparition 

 

/ into gaping wound / pillar of salt / winter re-casted as grime & girl-organ / was I drowning 

 

/ or remembering the one before me? / was it my body flailing

 

/ toward my Lolo’s shape?

 

iii.

is it his ghost who shakes my teeth in December? / my skin is brown and so was my Lolo’s / brown meaning: possessed by summer / so take my rawness / my glaciers / my arms gone pale 

 

/ send me seraphs / send me scorching / deliver me a mouth that I could die inside the heat of / only then will I stop shouting / my ancestral terror 

 

/ of dampness / below-zero / & boats I’ve never 

/ leapt from

Louie Leyson is a Filipina-Canadian writer based in Vancouver. She currently studies literature as an undergrad at the University of British Columbia.

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