Academic journal article Parnassus : Poetry in Review

Acacia

Academic journal article Parnassus : Poetry in Review

Acacia

Article excerpt

Central Highlands, Kenya

I.

Yes, says Suleiman, met along the way,

write about all these live things

and the African man telling you

this. There is sound around his

words, on the highland subliming

in the morning, blunt sun glancing off

his glasses, cooking his camouflage

jacket as he tilts along the animal

tracks in his Reebok knockoffs,

too absorbed with a lion-paw print

on buffalo dung to name eddies

of air. I can't write the sound down.

So hear, please, a hooshing

in the grass, a ratcheting on pebbles,

some woo-waw from a branch.

Then know: it's none of these.

II.

I open a door and this comes in:

wind, clouds, dizzy grass, oryx

pointing, tickbirds picking.

I want some of it

out, want to pluck things from

their red-ochre ground, leave

the red-ochre dust outside

the door. (You don't know

how many times I've

swept out this life.) Some

ants and birds will not

inhabit the same tree.

That I live here too,

in this life, with its door,

leaves my throat ajar. …

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