How Will A Cellist Sound Beneath The Sea?

Poems by Michelle Peñaloza

How Will A Cellist Sound Beneath The Sea?

Constellation

after Terrance Hayes

The stars above us ask so little,
despite our cells,
coursing with their dust. To err is constant — 
someday, all the things we believe will seem ancient.
Perhaps, we’ll live more times than once.
Eventually, we will all flee toward the coastline.
The world we ignore most and understand least
will call us back to give up our toenails for tails,
cover our breasts with starfish and numinous scales.
Tell me, how will a cellist sound beneath the sea?

Desire

after Terrance Hayes

Turn your face. Face the horizon from another side
to watch the line between land and sky, upend and rise:
a schism slit view, red
and swollen. I speak of something like ire — 
a sweetness that resides,
sings in the body like the reed
born from runnel, given second life in the mouth. Ser,
to be. Tu eres
mi amor
: one seed
born from need, clear and dire.

± ?¿? ˜ı˜ Å ˜ı˜ ‡‡‡ ˜ı˜ Å ˜ı˜ ?¿? ±

The author of two chapbooks — landscape/heartbreak (Two Sylvias) and Last Night I Dreamt of Volcanoes (Organic Weapon Arts) — Michelle Peñaloza has been published in The Collagist, New England Review, TriQuarterly and elsewhere. She is the recipient of fellowships and scholarships from the University of Oregon, Kundiman, Hugo House, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, among many others.

Originally published at electricliterature.com on March 14, 2016.

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