this is how we are born: mother so cruelly dangling a sweet coveted thing singing at us with a thin smile drawn over her lips. her voice, a siren promising us a home inside her mouth. the melody shakes through wet laughter, reaches over my brother’s thighs, touches my own. one leg, disappeared. this is how we die: playing games for children. next are the limbs carrying my sister. my mother’s voice again reaches heavy fingers, taps a feather-brown knee we watch it fade into the past, where old children go to die. sometimes, it’s the arms. or the feet follow the refrain into silence. that song finally lands on my last leg and i turn fully into smoke.
quinton chinwe is a black trans poet from north carolina, where they study english & comparative literature at the university of north carolina at chapel hill.
Guest Editor Shibazrule, aka Lisa D. Chavez, is a poet based in New Mexico. Her poetry books include Destruction Bay (West End Press) and In An Angry Season. (University of Arizona Press). She also writes memoir and fiction, and teaches in the MFA program at the University of New Mexico. She’s delighted to have the opportunity to be Guest Editor here at The Coop for the month of August.