Canisia Lubrin is a writer, editor, and teacher. She is the author of three books, including Code Noir (Knopf, 2024), The Dyzgraphxst (McClelland & Stewart, 2020), and Voodoo Hypothesis (Buckrider Books, 2017). She is the recipient, among other honors, of the 2021 Windham Campbell Prize, the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, the Derek Walcott Prize for Poetry, and the Griffin Poetry Prize. Lubrin has held fellowships at the Banff Centre, Civitella Ranieri, and multiple universities. She is an assistant professor and coordinator in the creative writing MFA program at the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
We cannot explain the world, named the same as marrow beaten to glue
bones circling the belly of the Earth
our voices shattering the glass windows
of unrelenting, heated houses: mother describes the world: a tumour. yes.
the broad and flat elements of borders. yes. like zodiacs.
yes. mirage of a late world, slung from tractor factories.
yes. still hidden from the door, a warbler is undone by singing today.
yes. Signal Hill, Castries, Bagatelle, until gone, we—sudden and halved.
my mother says, look how we are astonished
by the jails, I say, by the floors holding our reflections
knowing enough medicine, enough
to call the burning world back to love
if I outline myself in nothing now, a time-travelling letter
is it that I have known the map
the maker of it, the doors,
the maker of them, and yet near the last of time,
your trembling, so endless, it is that I am static stunned,
still, by our movements between forms
and for the sake of alchemy we talk of butterflies
passing over New York, meeting no resistance
going past the galvanized sheds. they are cut-outs of themselves
at 560 miles beyond our Earth, passing through the tall grasses
next to a fortune of mirrors and years, more sounds of fur
find me there with yellow mud, enough and more tiffs
proof of the waterlog of companionship, the demisting riverbed
more terrifying now: the body embattled by itself. things we are astonished by—