Christeene Alcosiba




Here is the body –
And it is yours to ruin.

The evidence of living appears

Shaping the skin with chamois or hook.


Here is time –
And it is yours to waste.


Many-tongued memory arrives at the door

Wearing crushed velvet.


Here is the mind –
And it is yours to burn.

The cartography of knowledge:
A litter of trinket shops and ashen valleys
And ashen women bending to wash the bowl day after day.


Here is the past –

And it is yours to annihilate.


A starved dog returns to her vomit,
Not from need, but desire.


Here it is.


Your very own coastal shelf.


CHRISTEEN ALCOSIBA is a visual artist, writer for ArtsATL, and a librarian at the Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory University. Her poems and articles have been featured or are forthcoming in Boog City, The Southeast Review, Rattle, New York Quarterly, and Forklift, OH, among others. Her first chapbook, Little Earthquakes, was the winner of the 2010 New York Book Festival poetry prize. She lives in Atlanta.


Read more by Christeene Alcosiba

Two poems in B O D Y