Dear Kasama

I draft this, dear kasama, against  
fish-hooks of hope. I draft against  
slow elimination. I draft from soft 
interior of riot. I draft syllables of  
known sadness, such knowing, 
such evidence, such kitchen table  
phenomenology of you reading this,  
of this reading you—on a rainy 
& black hoodie delivering bags  
of groceries at the doorstep. I draft  
from collected stillness, restless ghosts 
archived in my veins. Consider this  
an intimate poetics of rage. Consider  
this rage divine refusal. Let us talk  
about such refusal. Let us talk about  
such dysregulation of promise. Let  
us talk about how much I miss you. 

Copyright © 2023 by Jason Magabo Perez. An earlier version of this poem first appeared in Kalfou: Journal of Comparative and Relational Ethnic Studies, Volume 8, Issues 1 and 2 (Spring and Fall 2021). Used with permission of the author. The phrase “fish-hooks of hope” is sampled from Aimé Césaire, Return to My Native Land, translated from the French by John Berger and Anna Bostock (Archipelago Books, 2013).