You & Me, Forever [Excerpt]

Vanessa Jimenez Gabb


for a breeze to exist
over flat lands
life doubles
a yes escapes a child
before a no

yes, there are flags here
yes, religion
yes, war mongering

no, this isn’t a union house
no, this isn’t a house without bourgeois money

the body can be organized this way
not to stand
to withstand

my jaw
my shoulders
balancing on the edge of truth

how have you lied

a day is a trap
an antagonism

on the road
the cars
pulled over
the bikes, too

the taxes
not even hidden
we are free
to choose our despots

there is much to balance at the end of the month
let us not speak of nations or presidents
too many fires

one moment, I have to vomit

no, no to representation
and hollow words

I have to lie
even now
each week certify myself a certain way

there are empty buildings
there go men
still idling on the corner
this close to the pavement

a shadow
a grand inefficiency

I still keep time like a teacher
in the factory
what is happening
in those meetings about mindfulness

who cares
I don’t miss it
or the drive every day
from Brooklyn to New Jersey
except what lingers
and by whose design now
am I conditioned
leaving is a harsh form
of activism

those in the classroom
those in tech
those at the docks

we do not live
so variously

It’s chaos really. Every four to seven years chaos that lasts for months or years. In a planned system this wouldn’t happen, this schizophrenia.



Vanessa Jimenez Gabb is the author of Basic Needs (Rescue Press), and Images for Radical Politics (2016), Editor’s Choice in the 2015 Rescue Press Black Box Poetry Prize contest. Of Belizean and Colombian descent, she is from and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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