from “The World After Rain”

we cannot explain the world, named the same as marrow beaten to glue
            bones circling the belly of the Earth
            our voices shattering the glass windows
of unrelenting, heated houses: mother describes the world: a tumour. yes.

the broad and flat elements of borders. yes. like zodiacs.
            yes. mirage of a late world, slung from tractor factories.
            yes. still hidden from the door, a warbler is undone by singing today. 
yes. Signal Hill, Castries, Bagatelle, until gone, we—sudden and halved.

my mother says, look how we are astonished
            by the jails, I say, by the floors holding our reflections
knowing enough medicine, enough 
            to call the burning world back to love

if I outline myself in nothing now, a time-travelling letter
            is it that I have known the map
the maker of it, the doors, 
            the maker of them, and yet near the last of time, 
your trembling, so endless, it is that I am static stunned, 
            still, by our movements between forms 

            and for the sake of alchemy we talk of butterflies
            passing over New York, meeting no resistance 
going past the galvanized sheds. they are cut-outs of themselves
at 560 miles beyond our Earth, passing through the tall grasses

next to a fortune of mirrors and years, more sounds of fur 
            find me there with yellow mud, enough and more tiffs
            proof of the waterlog of companionship, the demisting riverbed
more terrifying now: the body embattled by itself. things we are astonished by—

Copyright © 2023 by Canisia Lubrin. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 19, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.