poem index


Cynthia Dewi Oka

Printer-friendly version
 Cynthia Dewi Oka. Photo credit: Cathie Berrey-Green.

Cynthia Dewi Oka is the author of Salvage (Northwestern University Press, 2017). She is a member of the Sanctuary Advocate Coalition, which works to expand sanctuary in vision and practice through the framework of black-brown unity. She lives in Collingswood, New Jersey.

by this poet

That a potholed street in the middling borough of Collingswood, New Jersey, bears the name Atlantic, after an all-consuming body of water.
That all-consuming is Atlas’ curse to bear the heavens on his shoulders.
That after the fall of the gods, half of the heavens is darkness.
That inside the car speeding
Behind disinfected curtains,
           beyond touch of sunrise
devouring the terrible gold

           of leaves, a man could be
his own eternal night. City
           flattened to rubble, his

surviving height a black flight
           of notes: the chip-toothed
blade and oldest anesthetic.