This poem is made of joints and their limit-points. We hold and hold and hold, that so-tenuous socket buckling beneath us, as we try to carry our griefs. Until at last, that excess crests over, and breaks the body into a new form. I’m interested in how syntax and language can both embody the bearing of that weight and mark what happens when we dissolve amidst it: we grow wings, scales, turn to fire, fauna, to water, to light.
Limit Points: Metamorphosis
Tossing bundles of lemongrass, the wind sour, the wind ever crossing over
gentleness as something cruel loosens in the air. No: not cruel, simply a pivot
perspectives: you are not at the center of any
being’s thoughts, and so nakedly this one body standing
as the world gashes its passage through. Is it too late now? To be
is to be cut to parts: bisected throat to throat. Steady-lunged tree-god, keep
until you can’t you can you can you can. You can’t. And when you can’t
gallop out: now a horse; now the foam of the sea, against and then becoming the earth.
--Originally published in Fourteen Hills
Nomi Stone is the author of the poetry collection Stranger's Notebook (TruQuarterly, 2008), a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Anthropology at Princeton University, and an MFA Candidate at Warren Wilson College. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in The New Republic, The Best American Poetry 2016, Guernica, Blackbird, Drunken Boat, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere. Her current manuscript, Kill Class, has been a finalist for the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition; the Colorado Poetry Prize; the Barrow Street Poetry Prize; the Lena Miles-Weaver Todd Prize, Pleiades; and a Semifinalist for Omnidawn's 1st/2nd book contest.