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Three Poems


Marthe Reed

without boundary

            “the mark dissolves…it moves between being and nonbeing”

                                                                --Shazia Sikander



Pentimenti of carved doors, tattooed hands, scarred render. A gun presents itself as an earring. Seeing without being seen. She is veiled in script. Is this the viewer or the viewed? Couture obscura, a face in black net. Only her eyes are evident, stroking the melody. Saffarzadeh’s poetry, a net cast in black secures an architecture of bone and muscle. Farsi furls deft lines and curves. What sells, calligraphy ruminating on revolution. Tangle of thread and intention, text moves without boundary, effacing a firmament it composes. The mark dissolves. Only a tattooed hand, only a hand: calligraphic intentions. Without boundary. Text represents its own illusions. At the bottom of what? Poetry, revolution, couture, these cast separate nets, perform veiled pentimenti of their own.



Through any blue window

            Day comes
            And the brightness is hidden from me.
            Shadows cover the light
            Drape it in sandstorms.
            My beautiful mouth knows only confusion.
            Even my sex is dust.

                        Enheuanna, 2300 B.C.E.
                        “The Hymn to Inanna”



A minaret, a gun, a blue window. Anywhere a broom sweeps there is dust. Can blue be held in one’s hand? A mouth would do. The sun figures itself in rose-skinned peaches, currents crushed against her palm, a basket of blue grapes. Tiles fail to enumerate the forms of silence. A window outlined in blue is better. Or a cup of bitter coffee. An enameled cup and a brass alem from which the muezzin beckons. Prayers form an elegant calligraphy over her hands, crumble into a basket of fallen light. Dust and smoke scatter even these. Through any blue window, or a crack in the mortar. Would a gun suffice? Even my sex is dust, handful of blue lost to the light.




Tisci’s atelier

            “ruched and pleated like armour”


A hand or tail, black armor, sinuous invitation at her ass, as tulle over an armature, a sea of black upon which sex rides. Gold-helmed and waiting war. A trailing hand in rigid cladding. Conceit of deception (leathered god). Sweet black and martial deceit. (Sex.) Were this about face. What hides under those skirts, fingers sheathed a shining. Voluminous net. Trope? A battlement upon which, sweet conceit no cladding denies. Does she beckon? Seen you cannot wonder at this. Ridged armor marches over her back, death clasping desire. Rides into it. Hooped crinoline cascade, mass of black net we fall into. (Honeyed words.) Black and martial sex. Clasping battle, god-like, a fat queen squatting in skirts. A raised fist, ridged armor. A bolero, goddess of beauty, another exquisite hand beckoning. Armature of sex.