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.

[Purchase Issue 21 here.]

Cento for Surrender

Related Posts

Image of a sunflower head

Translation: to and back

HALYNA KRUK
a healthy mind in a healthy body // hand-picked grains they are, without any defect, / as once we were, poised, full of love // in the face of death, I am saying to you: / love me as if there will never be enough light / for us to find each other in this world

many empty bottles

June 2024 Poetry Feature: New Poems by Our Contributors

KATE GASKIN
We were at a long table, candles flickering in the breeze, / outside on the deck that overlooks the bay, which was black / and tinseled where moonlight fell on the wrinkled silk / of reflected stars shivering with the water.

Messy desk in an office

May 2024 Poetry Feature: Pissed-Off Ars Poetica Sonnet Crown

REBECCA FOUST
Fuck you, if I want to put a bomb in my poem / I’ll put a bomb there, & in the first line. / Granted, I might want a nice reverse neutron bomb / that kills only buildings while sparing our genome / but—unglue the whole status-quo thing, / the canon can-or-can’t do?