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13 Hours in the Future

By Caits Meissner

-- For Mahdar

I am 13 hours in the future & it is night / the rain is holding her breath
my friend, isn’t Penang opening to us! / a lotus unveiling a carnival
the paper lanterns are skirts / or balls pushed along by tiger’s nose
our smoke is a canon / dare devil on its way to an unnamed star
my own sweat: a disco ball jumpsuit / I sway when I walk / a mirage
I imagine myself a sheath / transparent / all light shining through me
I know only one person in this city & the only thing that will soften
the heart / is to open / delicately / petal by petal / until pollen exposes
itself / like a nipple. / My friend! / Tonight the sky is cotton candy
vines paw the trees / the air is tender / hilarious / there is desperation
bread on the table / there are cigarette bones / lazy in the ashtray
there is curry / suspended  / like summer snow / & ease whistles out
into the street / there is the street / right here in my palm / I can touch it
there are no walls between us / this is what it feels like to be borderless
unanchored / cracked down the middle / all sin pulled out / left curled
in a basket of snakes / dead there is a man / who is hungry / & when
you feed him / he sits &   when you ask / his name  /  he cries.

Added: Thursday, January 28, 2016  /  Used with permission.
Caits Meissner

Caits Meissner is the author of The Letter All Your Friends Have Written You (2012, Well&Often), co-written with Tishon Woolcock, and Let It Die Hungry (forthcoming 2016, The Operating System). Her poetry has been widely published in journals and anthologies including Drunken Boat, The Offing and The Literary Review, and has been awarded first place prizes from the Pan-African Literary Forum, the Ja-Nai Foundation and City College's The Jerome Lowell DeJur Prize in Creative Writing for a significant manuscript in poetry. Multidisciplinary by nature, Caits experiments with illustrated poems, and has collaborated extensively with musicians— her own poetry/music EP, the wolf & me, was released in 2010 to accolades on platforms such as Okayplayer. With a significant history in community arts, Caits is currently Writer-in-Residence at Bronx Academy of Letters, a creative writing instructor in a women's prison and a part-time lecturer at The New School University.

Other poems by this author