Poetry Archive


not what he meant, what he said
            how they spoke
                        her voice, song to me
                                      of course it would sound like heaven
                        self  before self undivided whole
            her amniotic cradle
his voice through her body
            him singing                alto tenor in her
                        sounds my ears were shaped to hold
                        my first love  my first opening  brimming full
            was deep voiced and purple haze mellow
as he murmured my name and groaned with me
this squawking nasal 
            talking I can’t answer
                        hurts               no phone  please
these street screeching children
            high pitched mimics
                        of  chalk on board ugly
screaming me me me
            into another reverie
                        of what was truly delicious delight
my name
            precious in their mouths
                        sacred in their throats

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Filed under: Poetry Archive


Akua Lezli Hope is a creator and wisdom seeker who uses sound, words, fiber, glass, metal, and wire to create poems, crochet patterns, stories, music, sculpture, adornments, and peace. Published in numerous literary magazines and national anthologies, she’s been in print every year since 1974. A third generation New Yorker, her honors include the NEA, two NYFAs, a SFPA award, Rhysling and Pushcart Prize nominations, among others. She has twice won Rattle’s Poets Respond. Her first collection, EMBOUCHURE, Poems on Jazz and Other Musics, won the Writer’s Digest book award.  A Cave Canem fellow, her collection, THEM GONE, was published 2018.  She’s launched Speculative Sundays, a live online poetry reading series. A paraplegic, she founded a paratransit nonprofit. She sings songs from her favorite anime in Japanese, practices her soprano saxophone, cajoles her black cat, and prays for the cessation of suffering for all sentience.

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