I thought, 
it’s a wonder 
how quickly those eyes 
can render your borders translucent
under certain light
Your ecosystem of 25 years, 
disorder and triumph, 
dimpled peaks and valleyed base
made opaque
by a scan and then avert–
a calculated refocus 
relocation to a smoother landscape. 
And suddenly, you’re an outline, 
minimized and blurred, 
watching the world in parallel, 
wondering how, 
in all your fullness, 
you made it to this place
of such scarcity of self. 

I wonder,
who has endowed power like this 
to those eyes?
Discretion to reduce and delete, 
a narrowing of borders, 
a thinning of your regions 
richest with your stories, 
your poems, your trauma, 
your heritage, your language–


I wonder
how they can 
fly over you 
in the first place. 

They would marvel
at how easily you reconquer yourself. 
You have built 
the abundance in your round edges, 
withstanding monsoons of those eyes, 
watching their tides 
deface and dismantle, 
and you–
breathing back in your dimensions, 
watch their shock, 
watch them shrivel
in your periphery. 

You are
a textured map 
of tumultuous, terrifying terrain, 
your overs and unders
speckled with ingrown gems 
worthy of exploration, excavation–
and when those parts of you 
catch the light, 
your brilliance blinds the eyes
of simple men
who can’t bear to stare at you straight. 
Your body in stillness
halts the moon’s rotations, 
and in motion
brings chaos to quiet tides, 
tsunami to streams, 
redirects the waves 
with the sway of your hips, 
back and forth until 
your body creates a whirlwind–
you are a force of nature
and a thing of wonder
and if you find that eyes 
can’t focus on you straight, 
it’s not for lack of intrigue 
but ability, 
in leagues behind and below–
they find themselves sightless, 
praying to be carried
by the chaos you bring. 

In certain light, 
your iridescence 
plays tricks on the eyes. 
Thunderclouds at dusk 
prank their patrons, 
they grey: just the right shade of evening, 
their rumble: a chuckle
before their heavy-handed pour.