Tuesday, March 13, 2012


You cannot say it without meaning
something particular and peculiar.

It’s a lonely syllable, forgotten
in a child’s mouth, out of tune
with the cavernous song of you.

It overshadows. It is
a tree among stumps—
its top branches,
its sturdy roots,
stretching outwards,
away from itself.

It dresses in an emperor’s clothes,
likes to be  dominant and predominant 
upon the tongues of everyone. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Blue in Detroit

Blue is patches of sky, hovering over
Detroit at the cusp of fall, hung by God
for a people hungry for wider living
and open spaces, not this crumbling
concrete and burnt out houses across the street
from the elementary school playground.

That blue will become a polluted orange-pink,
a strange beauty that’ll make your eyes water
and fill you with longing for familiarity,
not this city of strangers who never loved me.

I’m not seeking pity.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Victoria Hernandez Dances

They say I never dance
at school assemblies—all the boys
wearing pressed and tucked shirts
and the girls, their hair pinned back
with clips and bows. But they don’t know

I dance with her in unlit spaces.
Under the bleachers in the corner,
she takes my hand and twirls me around,
embraces my waist with her thin, dark arms,
and silently dips me backwards.

Her body becomes a comma, and my heart,
sound flooding my ears, pauses when
she pulls my body so close to hers,
then steps away, and I breathe
the Salsa beats again, watch her hips sway,
a primal music pulsing in my veins.

She burns deep,
deeper in my belly. 
And no one knows
how our love is beats 
and melodies and doesn’t need 
to speak or be seen.

You never dance, they say. But I do.
I dance and dance and dance.

© Ami Mattison