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Tuesday, October 22, 2019


by Kit Loney

You say a terrorist stole your name? I hear you, sister. Back in the day I was easy in my skin, passed among the creatures of the earth like a fine breeze. I was whirling dervish. Pelican diving. Windmill. Showed travelers the way to Buddhist temples. Would appear on kimono sleeves in sky-blue silk brocade to gather good fortune. Faced left in Sanskrit to juggle dots and dance on pointed toes. Man, those were the days. The Navajo would invite me to kneel on woven carpets for sacred healing chants. I was earth, air, fire, and water. north, west, south, and east. Then one day I’m grabbed from behind, knocked out cold. In fog of fever dreams I’m something small and lethal, like a pistol, dread burning up red from the tail of my spine. Wake up decades later. Splitting headache. Hands covered in blood. These days the Japanese kids call me Mangi, some hashtag to hip as if that Hitler nightmare never happened. But sister, I‘m still covered in scars, still shaking. Oh God! What have I done? And this new tide of angry men with their hands clenching my every arm. No ocean on earth is deep enough. Sister, help me, please!

Kit Loney comes to poetry from a career in visual arts. Her poems have appeared in Prime Number Magazine, The Ekphrastic Review, Fall Lines, Emrys Journal, Kakalak, Yemassee, Qarrtsiluni, Waccamaw, One, and Poetry East. In 2012 she received the Carrie McCray Nickens Poetry Fellowship from the SC Academy of Authors.