Cento for Surrender

By RAGE HEZEKIAH

Nostalgia is a well- 
intentioned wound, 
you have to hold 
it in mind all at once—
you have to need it 
enough. I’ve been
running from what 
needs me. Perhaps 
we are not responsible 
for the lives of our 
parents. We become 
a beautiful collection 
of knots trembling 
on the floor. Why 
should we mourn?
Isn’t this the history 
we want, one in which 
we survive? Mold me
daily into a bridge
between what I have 
forgotten and what 
I owe. My throat 
is full of low country, 
but here is a world
where the people 
I love gather in small 
rooms with not enough 
chairs. What I remember 
is everything, but I
know that can’t be.

 

Rage Hezekiah is a Cave Canem, MacDowell, and Ragdale Fellow who earned her MFA from Emerson College. She is the author of Unslakable and Stray Harbor. Rage expresses gratitude to the following poets for the use of their lines: Clint Smith, Joanna Klink, Karisma Price, Claudia Rankine, Morgan Parker, Diana Khoi Nguyen, Aaron Coleman, and Hieu Minh Nguyen. You can find out more about her writing at RageHezekiah.com.

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Cento for Surrender

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