Category: Poetry Magazine

I am dark, I am forest

Jennifer Givhan in Poetry Magazine

Jennifer Givhan’s poem ‘I am dark, I am forest’, featured in this month’s Poetry Magazine.

After Rilke

I carried a bowl of menudo into the forest / I carried my bisabuela’s tripas not daring ask whose intestines I carried / con cilantro y radish y cebolla chopped fine / I carried the sewing machine they’d chained her to in the garment district downtown I carried the forest crackling against asphalt where her chanclas burnt & melted so I carried her too / I wore no red / I bore no basket / there was no forest but an avocado tree in the backyard of the house they made her sell to get her Medicare for her diabetes shots / I carried her sugarwater / a hummingbird great-granddaughter I carried her flickering / her black- 
& white-screened / I carried her face / the scars her warped esposo left her granddaughter / carried those wounds through the womb / not wolf but blue-eyed man / I stirred the menudo / my belly the pot / & scalding into the forest I carried / & that tree I chopped down chopped into a boat & carried my mother & my bisabuela across the chile-red sopa the blood-water broth / named her daughter / what forest have we made for her I cannot see / I carried darkness into the forest & sliced it out.

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