Qiu Jin says anger/anchor
I know this wide-legged stance
Upright myself against
rocking boat who wants to
sink me, invisible me,
smooth water over quick
horizon undisturbed

Qiu Jin says hold on
They will unseat you
tell you the Emperor’s cloak,
blue ermine, is like the tree
solid, spreading, see
if you close your eyes
you can feel the rough bark

Qiu Jin speaks blood courage
Red hot the fire beneath
my feet keeps me moving
invective, infective, dissolves
the mist, the buttresses, the pillars
the locks on barbed wire
make me want to reach up

Qiu Jin haunts my dreams
Murder, I must cover up
the body, headless torso
no limbs, a hairless chest
I push and push, but water
seeks its own devil. I cannot
hide my bloody hands.

Qiu Jin eats the words
Swallows whole syllables
biting down on wooden spoon
her body, my body, wracks
in still and quiet. This
is how we shout, consonants
sibilants, blend and morph,
I digraph, the diacritic,
stressed mouth strains
against white surrender.


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Categories: Poetry

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2 replies

  1. This is so powerful, Tina. Gorgeous!

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