Issue 24 / Winter 2021 / Special Issue: Pleasure
Weary from a whole DJ set, i welcome one more song.
i mean, how can i blame this body for blooming.
i mean, it’s tradition, really.
i mean, how can i explain this unconditional lover
the metronome taps its version of freedom
& sweat tiptoes off my back in choreography.
A bass loop bound up in my hips.
How survival is syncopated is
how we shift from silence
before the shit comes back in.
Better than last time—booty goes hand-over-hand—
Chappals slap on the bottoms of feet,
like percussion, like crumble sprinting up a fault line.
i cut up the dance floor like i’m ice skating,
a singing and dancing spectacle
like no one sees me. A beat
the better birthplace i come from.
On beat, brown icon ancestors ride in on starlight,
see themselves represented through this footwork—say
I really do not know a word of this kid’s tongue but
damn. This young one is alive tonight.
Rest assured; everyone we could only once reminisce over
can be ratified in rhythm. Can come back to a tempo.
A brown family could wrap time around their thumbs
Come pick me up after school, drown out bullies. Unlearn me shame.
When love is listless & best friend was fracture & flamethrower.
i grew faded like the village birth certificate,
faded like my mother trapped in a flower shop.
i was her barely breathing ashy baby,
life lodged in my throat
named after the princes sown all in the soil
of four different border fences. Ankoor means
flower/ blossom/ bud/ sapling/
in this back-and-forth living.
In love with a world unrequited.
i was held & though i was so afraid of heights, i rose.
Ankoor Patel is a Gujarati-American writer, educator, and graduate of Vassar College where they earned a BA. Born in Vallejo, CA, Ankoor is a child of im/migrants.