Transfiguration

By Jaime Lee Kirtz

“My nose holes choked with memory of smoke”*

surrounding wooden beams

as masts crash on bottomless floors

 

Phonetic chimeras curl round tall planks,

rigging where men move

like trapeze artists, seconds

after a wire has broken

 

In skies seagulls observe

transfigurations to swans

spoken ashes on winds

misty flights of vowels

 

Dragons treading

sentence lengths

debris floating on fiery swells

 

I was Ariel wishing to be freed

I was Lear howling to mystic beings

I was anything but a stock character

in a British drama

 

Transforming to lighter language

now paths

infinite vibrations

Bibles on ships

explain silence

 

Awaiting decisions on death

and after death

still hearing slop of water

against sideboards

icy shackles on ankles

 

Crawled toward Atlantis

no one spoke

swans were not seagulls but harpies

my hair was my own but filled with seawater

this was how I arrived in America

* Derek Walcott—The Schooner Flight

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Jaime Lee Kirtz, a recent graduate of SFU’s The Writer’s Studio, has been published by Four and Twentyfeedbagmag.com, Pandora’s Collective, and the Poetry Institute of Canada. She graduated with Physics and English Literature degrees at the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto. Focusing on intersections between language, physics and literature, her work and theory circulates around polis and formation of culture within natural environments, and is featured in the anthologies “Emerge” and the “Enpipe Line Project.”


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