[subterranean / dreaming grace roots]

                                        dreaming grace roots
                                                                               we feast from (:)
                                 calls your hand tender
                                                   turned toward the margins
                                 in which we
                                                       stir ancestral / souls
                                       against hegemonic


                                       with what found & forged love ,
                                                       if in alignment our /
                                  bodies defy
                           all the social could expect

                                    run seams im/possibility

             & all the flesh we’ve
                          fought for
                                       & the ways of being &
                                                     knowing & fucking        

                                                                  on history’s tide
                                                               receding , sure tears,
                                                                horror , food ,

                                                                       umber busy pulling
                                  out of the ordinary, demands
                                                               , antinomies, borders
                                     in the composition of hands
                    lay ripe heads as the sun

                                                               dizzy scent’s course
                                       to place cupped on the chest
                                                                               for a kinetics of otherwise


Copyright © 2022 by Nat Raha. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 23, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“This short poem works through an expression of diasporic, queer desire, reflecting on how such desire feels and is enacted in this present. It understands this desire as rooted in a flesh that is both hirstorical in its existence and trans-hirstorical in its constitution—reaching across tender bodies towards dispersed ancestral lineages (understanding ancestors as chosen, claimed, and given). In the contested present of queer and trans life—where we’re supposedly more socially accepted while still often materially struggling—the poem remembers the importance of manifesting our visions and dreams into ways of life for social and material transformation.”
—Nat Raha