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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 hybrid poetry book Let It Die Hungry (The Operating System, 2016), and The Letter All Your Friends Have Written You (Well&Often, 2012), co-written with poet Tishon Woolcock. The recipient of multiple artist residencies and fellowships, including the BOAAT Writers Retreat and The Pan-African Literary Forum, Caits is widely published in literary journals including The Literary Review, Narrative, Adroit, Drunken Boat, and The Offing. Caits teaches at The New School University and The City College of New York, where she holds an MFA in Creative Writing, and was awarded The Jerome Lowell DeJur Prize in Creative Writing, an Educational Enrichment Award and The Teacher-Writer Award. She has worked extensively in public schools, prisons and other community venues bridging social justice and art. Please visit her website.

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