Poets

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Kimberly Reyes

Kimberly Reyes is the author of Running to Stand Still (Omnidawn, 2019), a finalist for Civil Coping Mechanism’s 2017 Mainline Competition. Reyes is the recipient of honors from the Poetry Foundation, the Fulbright Program, and the Academy of American Poets. She lives in Cork, Ireland.

By This Poet

1

The Uncanny Valley

After Kara Walker’s “A Subtlety” at the Domino Sugar Factory
Brooklyn, 2014

They came in between me and the Sugar Baby.
A marvel. Inside a moment of prayer.

Flick of blonde hair. Phone in my face: Take our photo?!

“Repeat Repeat Repeat”
Kara Walker, Do You Like Crème
in Your Coffee and Chocolate in Your Milk?

Right here. Still wet air.
No space.
Smiles and crass. Snaps of our nipples.
                             Our ass.
                             Your mammy.
                             Our matriarch.

 

This is hip. This is art.
This is it

molasses. Blanched white.

You won’t?!
God,
you girls, like, always need a fight!

“…the romance of it,
the storytelling—it was so rich
and epic, and that was what I hadn’t
expected. I hadn’t expected to be titillated
in the way that stories like that are meant to
titillate. And, at the same time, it was so much
fodder for the work that I wanted to do.”
—Kara Walker,
on exploiting the exploitation in Gone With the Wind

This is church. This is collateral. This is holy terrain.
I am ekphrasis, imbued to the frame.