The Poetry Project

issabop on Dereliction

sadé powell

iliac breathing one continuous

“never-knowing never-optional” (5)

heart murmur or whisper song

the pneumatics of black femme interiority

uttering the multifaceted neglect

the “septic taunting” (22)

“how to be of things, then suddenly, to not” (63)

yet a sankofa refusal beckons nonperformative “then what?” (57) then nothing.

the whir in empty sociality

considers the flare

“Four dozen toothed globe snails nesting in the pulp fruit" (36)

as inveterate enoughness

gabrielle submerges prophecy: “wholeness, you see is not [her] goal” (92)

her quotidian gestures of lucidity, her singularity castoff

“—all noise trickling down to ear through string of grassroot stethoscope” (21)

in this book one dwells

as black folx do

as plenum in obscurity

however lopsided or concave


unburdens the cypher where gabrielle can get her shit off:

“there’s nowhere to speak about what didn’t happen/

all i have are these poems & no kind of knowing outside of that” (71)

her dissembled flit imbued us

upon itself

a black sociologic undertone: Dereliction.

#273 – Summer 2023