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from Inventory

Dionne Brand
From:   Inventory. Toronto: McClelland &: Stewart, 2006


Observed over Miami, the city, an orange slick blister,
the houses, stiff haired organisms clamped to the earth, engorged with oil and wheat
rubber and metals, the total contents of the brain, the electrical
regions of the atmosphere, water

coming north, reeling, a neurosis of hinged
clouds, bodies thicken, flesh

out in embarrassing health,
six boys, fast food on their breath,
luscious paper bags, the perfume of grilled offal,
trough-like cartons of cola,
a gorgon luxury of electronics, backward caps,
bulbous clothing, easy hearts

lines of visitors are fingerprinted,
eye-scanned, grow murderous,
then there's the business of thoughts
who can glean with any certainty,
the guards, blued and leathered, multiply
to stop them,
palimpsests of old borders, the sea's graph on the skin,
the dead giveaway of tongues,
soon, soon, the implants to discern lies

from the way a body moves

there's that already

she felt ill, wanted
to murder the six boys, the guards,
the whole line of the poor sick sad world
burning their beautiful eyes in the patient queue

Let's go to the republic of homefrom
let's forget all this then, this victorious procession
these blenching queues
this timeless march of nails in shoeless feet

what people will take and give,
the passive lines, the passive guards,
if passivity can be inchoate self loathing

all around, and creeping

self righteous, let's say it, fascism,
how else to say, border,
and the militant consumption of everything,
the encampment of the airport, the eagerness
to be all the same, to mince biographies
to some exact phrases, some
exact and toxic genealogy

Dionne Brand's works copyright © to the author.

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