out of the city
poems by Silvia La Rote
Out of the City
The blinding sun-cloud of Philly
is a psychedelic shrub, in its own
religious right. As if I’ve given up
and traded my burning flag.
I have found honest hours
and long moments of friendship
but every minute passing
is a minute lost. An instant
to be scorned.
How could I ever
ever be happy, accepting
of history. But here,
I can celebrate
even the short black days
when the simple act of shaving
my thighs leads to nothing more
than thoughts of shaving my thighs.
Melba Liston - Insomnia
In the midst of song, it is only typical
to assume there are no side effects to breathing,
no more important than the wet
grass below our toes, the unidentified
women cannot move
quickly enough to love
one another, to be less poison and ephemeral.
There is always a body, a skeleton,
a vibration, a set of iridescent notes
to step over, an opened hip, a discarded
smear of lipstick.
She left drops of water
in the rim of a glass where wine could have
been poured onto. We are crossing
from the familiar
sea, the long passage, the scent of migration.
Here, are the lost feminine products
who never chose a formal dance.
I have come to see the Queen’s lofty chamber.
The curtains of smoke and paper sown
surroundings in sage.
Head bowed, and beaten is a lip cursing
at no one in particular.
Body supple enough to be served, here
is where I can tell them: I am what I seem,
but the crown is disarmed, and there is no hip hop
to convince them.
I watch and wait for a change in rally
or in heat of my want and one.
By two, by three,
from the hive they come.
Stone Moon Mother
While they lay, my mother
fathers the fickle womb,
its lone stark rath
now lent, to reason
Prayed upon by calendars
of stone, unwinds
the sickle of canyons
Bind this righteous hollow night,
it is mine. This undenying gut,
her unwatered cares.
Mine, this candle flickering and vain
This home out of town. Like sin
abides this fire mine.
Speak of Fruit
You come to feast
as falcon, thrusting
the bustle of Blue
Jays and Backs,
the governing of bricks
and bones, and gravity
absolved in my ribcage.
Last night we dreamt
of predators, yet still
they speak of fruit.
Silvia La Rote is an anarcha-feminist, poet, and artist in Occupied Tongva territory. Her work has appeared in the Feminist Wire, La Galeria, Clash Media, Five2One Literary Magazine, among others. Her first book of poetry was published by ANC press and her second book of poetry and art prints can be found at laroteart.wordpress.com. You can also find her posts on IG @slaroteart.