Circle of Words by featured artist Jamila Clarke


      Behold: The Body

      In the supermarket,
      I dodge bodies,
      some don’t even know I am there:
      a woman in a fedora

      young children leaning their tiny masses
      against the gummy bears,
      chocolate kisses, and plush animals.

      The boyfriends swallow their girlfriends
      next to the cosmetics
      and the old man with his hard swelling lungs
      stands at the pharmacy.
      His eyes tell of yellowed cigarettes

      And then the airport:
      Porters call me by my wheelchair.
      Perhaps they never see my face, 
      don’t know if I was a Sir
      or a Ma’am.  In this moment,
      I am nothing more than an object;
      clunky metal and two batteries
      bound together by thin wire.

      As the TSA agent grabs my mass of
      an ass, he forgets about the fused spine
      I just told him about; forgets that my
      shoes just won’t come off, this time or ever.

      San Francisco is calling me.

      In the evening
      when my lover comes to bed me
      is the first time anyone has met my gaze
      all day.

      As his body sprawls across mine
      my floating kneecaps are reminded
      of the pain­free solace that comes when
      his weight is pressed upon them.

      He digs his grey nails into my skin, and
      I am reminded how wonderful touch is;
      how wonderful it is to know
      that someone knows you are there.

      As he finishes thrusting into me,
      the Golden Gate Bridge is somewhere
      over there in the distance.

      For a glimpse of a second, I wonder
      what it would be like to jump, skip, run
      while wide awake and present.

 


Nathan Say

I live and write in Las Vegas, Nevada. My work can be found on “The Indiefeed Performance Poetry Podcast”, anthologized in “Flicker and Spark: A Contemporary Queer Anthology of Spoken Word and Poetry,” and published in “Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature,” and “A Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal.” I am active in the Slam Poetry movement and have performed throughout the country, featuring at the 2013 Capturing Fire National Queer Spoken Word Slam and Summit and have opened for Andrea Gibson. soundcloud.com/nathansay