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


Bear Witness

   after Carrie Mae Weems’s Roaming series

Before I knew
how to fill my onyx body
with slick measures,

dip every curve
in my skin with dark sway,
I needed a picture.

Before me stood
a long black dress I called Woman—
you stand opaque

with your back to me,
a statue of witness,
the door of Yes—

I can Return
to the monument
of your silhouette

to find my longest muscle.
We both stare down
the ocean to stillness.

O, Carrie—
what are you trying
to tell me here?

I’ve been standing by water 
my whole damn life
trying to get saved.

Credit


From I Can’t Talk About the Trees Without the Blood. Copyright © 2018 by Tiana Clark. Used with the permission of University of Pittsburgh Press.

Author


Tiana Clark

Tiana Clark is the author of I Can't Talk About the Trees Without the Blood (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018).

Date Published: 2018-10-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/bear-witness