Katrina by Patricia Smith
Weather is nothing until it reaches skin,
freezes dust, spits its little swords.
Kept to oceans, feeding only on salted water,
I was a rudderless woman in full tantrum,
throwing my body against worlds I wanted.
I never saw harm in lending that aches.
All I ever wanted to be
was a wet, gorgeous mistake,
a reason to crave shelter.
© 2008 Patricia Smith. From Blood Dazzler: Poems by Patricia Smith, published by Coffee House Press. Blood Dazzler: Poems is available to purchase wherever books are sold.
I love the way Patricia Smith uses the imagery of a hurricane as a metaphor for the ways in which she herself has embodied fury, longing, and destruction. I’ve never read any of her work that wasn’t breathtaking and even that seems too cheap a word to describe the effect her poetry has on me. Her words are alchemical, an accelerant to the fire already burning inside my chest. If you’ve not yet read any of her collections, today is the perfect day to start.
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