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About this Poem 

“This poem is a part of a larger meditation on human dignity that winds through my new book. What speech does the contemporary moment allow when that speaking or attempted speech regards global displacement, local brutalization, and abject apathy?”
Dawn Lundy Martin

from Life in a Box is a Pretty Life

Lake, interminable. I do not know where my house is. Where is my house? Summer steams by. Every border is cocked and ready. Flatten body against cool earth. Lie without sound. Be a cool corpse under wire teeth. The police are so young. They do not hear the wailing. Wailing, I’m told, is a figment of your imagination. What to know of the body’s refusal to open, of its hidden cave? Put the cave inside another cave so no one can reach it. Perspiration aches. Strain against dirt walls. I have come to you from a metal house. We had steel barriers to protect us from the sun. The lake drifts into forever. Windows here are small and I cannot see myself in them. What it is to be captured without spoons. 

Copyright © 2015 by Dawn Lundy Martin. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2015 by Dawn Lundy Martin. Used with permission of the author.

Dawn Lundy Martin

Dawn Lundy Martin

Co-founder of the Third Wave Foundation in New York, Dawn Lundy Martin was selected by Carl Phillips for the 2007 Cave Canem Poetry Prize for her debut collection A Gathering of Matter / A Matter of Gathering.

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