love does not want this body

and when i say body i mean country.
this severed land once and then twice removed.
first i mean the mist and then i mean the wind.
when i say love i do mean God.
i do mean heaven and its bar of entry.
i do mean whatever takes a hold of us
as we lower our people into their graves.
i could say:
a grave can become its own kind of country
but then i am just speaking again of my people and our fleeing.
how we were made to bleed and then made a nation out of dying.
how tricky this makes the word lineage.
i am not sure where i come from anymore.
maybe it’s the sea. i know there was once a shore line
and then there was me, a wet and deathless child.
i think unzipping the path from the country you are in
to the country in which you belong is all a matter of preference
and by this, i do mean: if the ocean unfolds its wide arms
and the tide parts its lips for this body
tell the few that i leave behind
i am finally in love.
i looked at the water’s surface
and saw so many reflections.


Bernard is a Bahamian immigrant poet still trying to plant his feet in Minnesota. He has work featured and upcoming in Mizna, The Rush, TRACK//FOUR, Third Point Press, and Button Poetry, among others. He owes a lot to all of his favorite poets. Ask him for a list