“Someday You Will Be Worn Again,” “Metamorphoses (Uh-oh, Stinky)” & “Insulation”
by Ria Mai Geguera
Someday You Will Be Worn Again
tomorrow my brother starts his first (paying) job this year
my grandma texted my grandma in all caps
THANK GOD and omitted any comments
about his activist hair and atrophied clothing.
the air is different with birds
if they were crickets it’d be hedging, their long doubtful whines
in the echoed sunlight, what colors are we changing? even the
blankets feel deeper,
even my roommate’s high school bestie on her eleventh whippit.
my teeth hurt. i’m doing laundry
there’s nothing i want to cut out with sound
my voice just hasn’t been around, much
too cold, too much effort to shake on purpose
come to living room temperature.
someday it will be warm again,
and i’ll be too brown for blushes but flush with the sun. i’ll
put away the wrong coats and leave the window open more.
the candle smoke will keep on rising —
in time i’ll stop picking at my fingers,
i’ll fix my old gloves.
my hands will put on a show with new sheets and old jackets,
and my lungs won’t freeze on air that feels like something else
glittering with infinite spring.
on my scarves will settle the dust of forever juggling.
i’ll wake up with my stuff already laid out.
Metamorphoses (Uh-oh, Stinky)
I think maybe you’d feel better if you stunk less.
Whatever rises into the air is not only erosion
but seepage, byproduct, chemical fumes, musky salt.
Some transformations are gross even when they are good.
And as for the well-used air whistling out my nose —
It’s its own industrial rhythm.
My sweat, my skin, my shit, my spit
swirls dreamily on unseen winds, alights or accumulates on
a thousand million billion different microscopic textures.
Lying down it’s like my heartbeat shakes the world.
You see, my choices are minute yet seismic,
minute by minute.
What I leave behind when I scrub and scour is the cost of exertion;
What I am achieving is a succession of more aesthetic cocoons.
Do you ever think,
my body doesn’t deserve this?
What creature are you raising?
Despite all the preoccupations
of a billion fingers and thumbs
it’s the same trillion microbes
that make your frame a home.
Do you think you can store life
in the bags under your eyes?
Seal the drafts with blue light,
some kind of pure humanity?
Ria Mai Geguera is endlessly finding ways to feel weird about [making] art and music, but it just keeps happening. Look out for her work when it comes forth and not a moment before.
These poems are excerpted from someday you will be worn again, a finalist in Wax Nine’s 2021 Chapbook Contest sponsored by Koyama Provides.
Felicia Douglass is an artist and musician based in Brooklyn, NY. She produces her own solo project and plays in Gemma, Ava Luna, and Dirty Projectors. She has done visual work for artists such as Bartees Strange, Video Age, and Talib Kweli. You can find her at www.feliciadouglass.com and on Instagram or Twitter @feldou.