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Cave Canem: A Special Section


today I am tired of sabbaths. I seek a river of sticks scratching the spine. O I have laughed the clown’s air now my breath dries in paint.


what is this profusion? the sun does not burn a cure, but hoards while I stretch upward. I hear, turning in my shrug a blaze of horns. O I had forgotten parades belabored with dreams.


in my father’s time I fished in ponds without fishes. arching my throat, I gargled amid nerves and sang of redeemers.      (o where have you been sweet        redeemer, sharp redeemer,      (o where have you been baroque        shimmer?      i have been in coventry      where ghosts danced in my veins      i have heard you in all refrains.) [End Page 990]


ah the lull of a yellow voice that does not whine with roots. I have touched breasts and buildings answered. I have breathed moth-shaped men without seeds. (O indiscriminate sleeves)

       (once upon an afternoon      i became still-life      i carried a balloon        and a long black knife.)


love comes with pink eyes with movements that run green then blue again. my thighs burn in crystal.

Sonia Sanchez

Sonia Sanchez is the Laura Carnell Professor of English at Temple University, where she serves as Director of Women’s Studies. She has published 13 books of poetry, the most recent being Does Your House Have Lions?, Like the Singing Coming Off the Drums, and Shake Loose My Skin. She has won several awards for her poetry, including the Lucretia Mott Award, a Pew Fellowship, and the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Humanities (Pennsylvania). Does Your House Have Lions? was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1998.

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