Metta Sáma Can't Breathe

Realism: a poetics

“Imagination! who can sing thy force”—Phillis Wheatley

The woman’s fingers are alternately
two praying mantes in mid fight alternately
the skittish legs of a rock crab blue
limbs swishing left and back to blue
mirages of packed sand untrammeled hole
Free No life forms around the small world a hole
waiting to be dug or alternately
the world is a giant fissure of blue
music classical notes plinking hole
after hole into a theory of What
What does the mantis pray for What
does the crab skirt from What
is this life A force of What
will happen to this child
I want with its child
thoughts and its ways naïve
untouched Is that naïve
to think a child I could birth
could be untouched by the world before its birth
I think I want to at the least imagine
that tiny world is somewhere I can imagine
many days with this naïve child
its kewpie face a successful imagined birth
It gets hard I will not lie to you
to keep it up The dream I will not lie to you
is hard to keep up Who is in this imagined world No one
In this invented world it is me my safe babies that is no one
Where in this world can I have babies safe
Not me not my lover we can not have babies safe
from this world The woman’s fingers are alternately
praying and prayer is a fight a flight alternately
I resent this blond child and her blondish mother
and I hate this resentment but god this mother
imagines a safe world for her daughter
and she will be granted it Her daughter
in a safe world I can only imagine
God I grow weary of the imagination


Metta Sáma is a poet and activist who administers Artists Against Police Brutality/Cultures of Violence with the writer Darlene Kriesel.

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