S*an D. Henry-Smith


lawless, listless, yours

a safe house out in the woods, off the old highway.
I’ll cover you when they come for you,
I won’t tell them where you go.

it got heavy, hun

When night fell, they came looking for blood, my Blood.
Unscathed this go-round, I bought back time.
Don’t rush if you don’t have to.

unraveling now

You set me up good—haven’t slept like this since Then.
Dreamt there was no running anymore.
Dreamt like the grand was just tuned.

cymbals came like rain

& I already knew this now was the last time.
wake on a linger, when was this world?
laud you, Lawless. find me soon.

turn the dial clockwise

at what point did you have no choice but to tap out?
Zinc on the semi-hollowed fretless.
rough playing, she’s combing glass.

still you have music

Of course you do—Cadence-chasing til the end
catch my drift? Cadence, I’m caught on you.
Oiled the blade, I’m on the way—

remember how

They came to smoking to find which wind is blowed thru?
You tale! I believe your best intent.
Laughing how you laugh right now,

back at the Border

yoked up again. they tried to rid me of my name.
skin of my teeth, on the other side
bankrupt of anatomy—

August 30th

Have you heard the good news? I may not learn the rules
of this century in time to live with-
in it. Hard to break the line.

Hungry, hungry days

in that emphatic drought. C, don’t play desperate.
The cost of birth is living, ain’t it?
The result of which is sleep.

when I cut it up

don’t tell me nothing—I have no words left to waste.
all the good can’t be on record—
interference guts the gotcha.

Oslo zero zehn

Thirty fifty-one, fifty-two, fifty-three? Yes.
Sync. Sweets in the knapsack, all for you.
Save the seeds, spend the spores. Sync.

wretched & lovely

No one knows the Spiders are revolting. Pity.
You’ll compose a beautiful morning.
I can hear the dew collect.

out in the garden

something happens every day: pollinating howl.
an opposing force tries to
claim. things prosper. things perish.

pricked by the thorned things,

I am unwoven. Ate their fruit. Chewed through the seed.
Let myself live again viciously.
Let the poison run its course.

Faith in such stale skies:

So it became I could not avoid disaster.
There are men on TV begging for
weapons, & the ocean boils.

moving on the run

No matter what, we can choose to have a good time;
it isn’t always about despair.
In the end, it’s that we chose.

the thing of genre

Blaxploitation let us play w/ our disregard.
Funk was the measure. This time it’s doom.
Drone fills the cage til it breaks.

double camouflage

essential! fawn brown—motif in the 2nd cuff.
take the silent car the whole way there.
seek Shelter at Salt Cedar.

ain’t nobody pray,

that’s what’s the mess. A slumber that gnaws at the root.
Ringing out to relay this absence.
Bellmaker crafts an echo.

or so it would seem—

In déjà vu, which event is the actual?
Memory’s memory. The split closer grows.
Z—tend to 1st out habit.

S*an D. Henry-Smith is a poet, photographer, performer, and collaborative practitioner. They are the author of Body Text, Flotsam Suite: a strange and precarious life, or how we chronicled the little disasters & I won’t leave the dance floor til it’s out of my system (Peradam, 2019), Wild Peach (Futurepoem, 2020), the co-author (alongside Imani Elizabeth Jackson) of Consider the Tongue (Antenna, 2019), and the director of the film Lunar New Year (2021).

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