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.