Sea of strangers exhales.
reorders us without consent. We reorder
the coastline. My therapist:
what do you feel
in your stomach? In your chest? I feel nothing. Nothing
matters. I touch nothing. I’m angry. Stop
asking. Have you ever stood on a shore,
felt the water change heights? Felt the wet sand rush to squeeze
your legs too tight?
In each of us:
possibility, a knife wedged
under the mattress, a new strangeness, an undiscovered way
we could touch each other, a bird never heard before
singing, an untaken path,
Copyright © 2022 by Aliah Lavonne Tigh. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 19, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.
About this Poem
“I wrote this poem in response to a prompt poet Stalina Villarreal provided for our writing collective. Originally, the poem began, ‘The joy of standing in a crowded room,’ before continuing with ‘Sea of strangers. . .’ I wanted to remember the euphoria of a pre-Covid June dance party. I wanted to remember the pleasure of being influenced and moved by something outside of me. While this was my intention, the poem that emerged wanted to look at the complexities of our connections.”
—Aliah Lavonne Tigh
Aliah Lavonne Tigh
Date Published: 2022-09-19
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/pathogenesis