Literary Yard

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“Moments of Choice” and other poems by Dagen Kipling

By: Dagen Kipling

Moments of Choice

Grey clouds summersault across the sky
white lines of whipped cream
crisscrossed along
the backdrop of metallic paint blue
electric cobalt applied
to the side of
a 97 mustang the car you let me drive
prom night the one that I painted
the side of the highway barricade in streaks
of bleeding blues and oozing oils we stood
flesh statuettes killing time looking out
at the trees dressed
in Spanish moss
you told me
one day you were going to cross the sky

How can you cross the sky when the ground beckons
for your feet it has grabbed
them and your feet have been watered
by comfort
class and happiness your white privilege plants
roots nourishing
your Jane Doe persona the skies watch
your minivan caresses
the open road making
quick stops at the gas station
and patches of grass the passport sits
still in your nightstand
you told me one day
you were going to cross the sky.


Ocular Orbit

You hide stars in your eyes. Well just one. I must admit
I get lost looking up at the night sky. Hiding
behind curtains of black the little star you hide in your

left eye. Two steps right three steps down
if you reach the iris you have gone too far. No you must
start at the black pupil. Puddled soy sauce

where we mix wasabi to drown nigiri. Appreciation not
appropriation. You taught me that. In
the Japanese built box you labeled classroom. Some
psychology mixed with cultural alchemy.

Tapioca balls, hoisin sauce, beautiful girl please eat
I love to see you devour. The same way
Heaven dines on the stars in our eyes. Or so that’s how the
story goes. They must have missed one

I admire them for that.
I admire them for that.


Learning To Tie My Shoes

interwoven bunny ears
tucked under my tongue
next to a star of david
plated in gold
it sits and burns
a hole in my cheek
six-pointed wildfire
sparked flint on stone
strikes of fist met with
blended voices screaming

kick the kike kick the kike

floods trace my cheeks
I am the red sea
a barrier
one last challenge
vast blue despair
filled with the bones
of men and beast

I feed off the blood
that pools in my skin
where capillaries burst
like fireworks on the fourth
of July

self-nourished iron
heated upon the flame
of blind hatred
the same temperature
as the urine guzzled
in camps across Poland
I am one with them
and they are one with me

Israelites cross my nose
leaving behind minuscule
black footprints dotting
my ghoulish skin
they point and laugh
at the fire that burns
my scalp

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