Lodestar Quarterly

Lodestar Quarterly
Figure reaching for a star Issue 9 • Spring 2004 • Poetry

sweet water, 3/19/03

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Love is strong as death itself... its flashes are flashes
of fire, a flame of the Eternal.
Floods cannot quench love, rivers cannot drown it.
-- The Song of Songs

I am pouring sweet water on my altar for you
praying that this prayer matters
Take my seven day candle out to recycling
cause none of it
I delete all entries in my mailbox containing the words
Humanitarian crisis civilian deaths heat weapon
infrastructure overwhelmed

Staring into the computer at work,
I see scorched air rising from Baghdad
bombs with wings like small butterflies
that seek a seven year old's head a mother's swollen belly
we pierced the heart of baghdad today my heart
my cervix pinches with cramps
I feel this shit blowin up my womb
like the fresh c-section scars of the women
who rushed to give birth
before the bombing started

And no, I'm not marching to the consulate today
I  stay home light another candle
I don't have any gun
except  my tongue my heart my skin
I am pouring sweet water on my altar for you/knowin that this prayer is
all I can do
survivors survive
whether they want us to
or not

for the people of Iraq

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a US-raised, Toronto-based, queer, South Asian / Sri Lankan writer and spoken word poet. She has performed her work throughout the United States and Canada at many conferences, protests, and bars, especially within the South Asian and queer of color art scenes, including the 2003 Asian Pacific Islander Spoken Word Summit and the Color of Violence 2 Conference in Chicago. Her writing has been published in numerous anthologies, including A Girl's Guide To Taking Over the World, Colonize This!, Brazen Femme, and Dangerous Families, as well as in the periodicals Bitch, big boots, Fireweed, Trade, Anything That Moves, and Bamboo Girl. She teaches writing to queer, trans, and Two Spirit youth at Supporting Our Youth Toronto and publishes the queer people-of-color anti-war 'zine Letters from the War Years. Her first book, consensual genocide, is forthcoming in 2004. She is currently spreading cranky brown queergirl poetry love on the Brokeass Browngirl Tour of the northeastern United States.

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