Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Ways to Disappear

In the dark
Down a stairwell
Through the doorway
Gone west
With a new wish
In daylight
Down the sidewalk
In a wool coat
In a white dress
Without a name
Without asking
On your knees
On your stomach
Gone silent
In the backseat
In the courtroom
In a cage
In the desert
In the park
Gone swimming
On the shortest night
At the bottom of the lake
In pieces
In pictures
Without meaning
Without a face
Seeking refuge
In a new land
Gone still
In the heart
With your head bowed
In deference
In sickness
In surrender 
With your hands up
On the sidewalk
In the daylight
In the dark

Credit


Copyright © 2021 by Camille Rankine. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 2, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem


“There are so many ways a person can become not a person in someone else’s eyes. They can be erased through violence of gaze or word or action, by the individual, by the media, by the state, so that their humanity dissolves into nothing in the other’s view, and they vanish. In plain sight, and not there at all.”
Camille Rankine

Author


Camille Rankine

Camille Rankine is the author of Incorrect Merciful Impulses (Copper Canyon Press, 2016), and the chapbook Slow Dance with Trip Wire. A Visiting Assistant Professor at The New School, she lives in Harlem.

Date Published: 2021-06-02

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/ways-disappear