O Sea of Troubles We Did Not Take Arms Against
by Adebe DeRango-Adem
for many moons we were complete like a single river
how beautiful we drifted & how delirious
were the times we pretended not to bear the thirst
of a hollow earth as such perhaps we were
not a river but a collection of rapids & yet those pangs
a clever mix of love & fear of the real
a longing soon to transform
into a longing to disappear somehow into the familiar
softening, from the dusts of the world
skylines—do you remember how we slept
in mangled ways looking out to the Atlantic
being in our element but no I will not spend my life
wading waiting wading
the answer is that I have arrived with scars
to haunt or to be haunted
. is the question
Previously published in The Unmooring (Mansfield Press, 2018).
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Adebe DeRango-Adem is a writer and former attendee of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics (Naropa University), where she mentored with poets Anne Waldman and Amiri Baraka. She is the author of three full-length poetry collections: Ex Nihilo (Frontenac House, 2010), which became a finalist for the Dylan Thomas Prize, Terra Incognita (Inanna Publications, 2015), which was nominated for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, and The Unmooring, published in 2018 by Mansfield Press.