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you rub the just-picked poppy petal between your thumb and first finger until orange
is your prisoner just like squeezing yourself between one politic act and the next
leaving just trace color hard even to recognize as an adaptation you once
thought would breed safety a compressed petal isn’t pretty why is pressure your
preoccupation kept as companion mechanism you have sex under tight sheets
just to feel how skin is such a thin containment for what’s dispossessed inside you as
the sheets too so easily give way orphaned in air sometimes you close your eyes spit over
the side of the world any world and the moisture on your husband’s face that you find
later not tears but finer in texture the way steam is a mirror of what bodies
are just heat and surrender you are excess but won’t know even as you feel yourself
turn into pure static but sweetly pungent as heated tar
hear news anchors then the bank clerks adopt this accent the next popular speech tactic
arrives inarguable now it’s personally yours power penetrates bodies
says Foucault to govern from inside mostly soundlessly you will soon hear us all used
as history’s peculiar alliance built simply of its passage plus some friction
caused by the indefinite articles that any new deception drags with it did
you think words were a way to police yourself syllables could be tamed with your
thought you’d tempt what Keats left “light- winged” in “some melodious
plot” to befriend your failure
to be more than fugitive in the “shadows numberless” you can’t just form subversive
songbirds harmonically transmitting “thou wast not born for death” along the latest
fiber optics to voice an instantaneousness that’d kin you to others in this
brokenness to write what you don’t know as if lyric hears it
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The vast hinterlands of the Global South’s cities are generating new solidarities and ideas of what counts as a life worth living.
Protests in China are shining a light not only on the country’s draconian population management but restrictions on workers everywhere.
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