[asking]

By Barbara Jane Reyes b. 1971
there is ghazal swimming inside of her, wanting to be born. on the matter of foretelling, of small miracles, cactus flowers in bloom on this city fire escape, where inside your tongue touches every inch of her skin, where you lay your hand on her belly and sleep. here, she fingers the ornate remains of ancient mosques. here, some mythic angel will rise from the dust of ancestors’ bones. this is where you shall worship, at the intersections of distilled deities and memory’s sharp edges. the country is quite a poetic place; water and rock contain verse and metaphor, even wild grasses reply in rhyme. you are not broken. she knows this having captured a moment of lucidity; summer lightning bugs, sun’s rays in a jelly jar.
 
this is not a love poem, but a cove to escape the flux, however momentary. she is still a child, confabulating the fantastic; please do not erode her wonder for the liquid that is your language. there is thunderstorm in her chest, wanting to burst through her skin. this is neither love poem nor plea. this is not river, nor stone.
 
 
 
 

Barbara Jane Reyes, "Asking" from Poeta en San Francisco. Copyright © 2005 by Barbara Jane Reyes.  Reprinted by permission of Tinfish Press.

Source: Poeta en San Francisco (Tinfish Press, 2005)

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Poet Barbara Jane Reyes b. 1971

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Subjects Living, Parenthood, The Body, Relationships, Men & Women, Home Life, Social Commentaries, Town & Country Life

Poetic Terms Prose Poem

 Barbara Jane Reyes

Biography

Barbara Jane Reyes was born in Manila, the Philippines, and grew up in the San Francisco Bay area. She earned a BA in ethnic studies from the University of California at Berkeley and an MFA from San Francisco State University. She is the author of the poetry collections Gravities of Center (2003), Poeta en San Francisco (2005), winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, and Diwata (2010).
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SUBJECT Living, Parenthood, The Body, Relationships, Men & Women, Home Life, Social Commentaries, Town & Country Life

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Poetic Terms Prose Poem

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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