Jasmine Gibson


We use surveillance for us

Cynicism is exactly what we need

and even what the F.A.I. at some point

Had a willingness to die and it being not a futurist manifesto

For speeding motor cars and twisting viscus

But holding courage, sensuality and fear

in both hands and feeling it slip through

Continuing to snap until

we damn near break off from our own trunks

We know the state is collecting our images

for a time when we'll remember, maybe incorrectly

"We were 'more' free then, right?"

What are we going to do when politicians and superstars

aren't problematic

Will you let the enemy in

when they say they appreciate the way yr ancestors died

to give you that pretty brown skin that looks good

under the flood lights or how nameless dead bodies are now the ultimate

aesthetic to accepting the bourgeois death drive

and how radical is that when our want

for freedom gets recuperated in the shape of an ugly boxy silk dress

All the women I know,

and not women are returning to points of youth

to regain something they lost

Whether that's the thickness of their eyebrows

  or feeling safe enough to love with abandon

  and hurt there

It's too risky in this older body

Too many holes, and not enough suitors filling the holes

  with anything special or nourishing

Just making the holes wider and more brittle

Watch me break all over you

It's exhausting just to find a place to rest

  and clean wounds like this

I've been up all night

Yes, I've been up deep into the night

When it's day where you are

Thinking of ways to get out of being underneath your skin

And no one is home

Please burn my collection of poems

Because now I know

That your love and ferocity was spent on another

With nothing left to give me

In an American south

We can have it good

And it can be delicious

We can be dangerous like that

What if the image doesn't end with a happy ending

But instead is like the truth

Living without redemption

A hungry ghost, wandering seeking its head

Which is something much more

Damn, you want my marrow too?

I thought you were a vampire

but you're excavating deeper into me,

and the history in my blood and mess rooms

It's holy work, and I find pilgrims everywhere I go

I stared into the abyss and knew I loved her then,

Because only she could appreciate how I fall apart,

sopping wet and still manageable even if I'm wrong

And that's good enough

Knowing you could never afford my love


All of this sprawl could be afforded by only a few for the cost of the sea

A boring archipelago, with pretty lovers screaming Finnish in their sleep

They want to leave too

They know what's good

Or at least how to make things right

I'm right here

And yes, we are both surprised at how we can love like this

It's surprising,

I mean, like you and me

And the photographs that haven't been taken

Then there's the skin that may stretch and

carry, whether that belongs to me or you

I'm trying to still smell you on my skin

My body is cramping in my arms, trying to make myself small

Especially when:


In broad sense, but like me also


Somos Nosotros Negros

Were never meant to reach northern wet cities

Like Helsinki

You can tell by the narrow city streets and the blinding white churches

Not meant to touch my flesh, but to instead to extract from ivory bones

Yes, your family was amongst the poachers

With photographs smiling back

My great great grandmother making love and hate to a coolie on soggy banks

In rags

In wonderment, that in every language there is a disdain for blackness

In every phrase, there is a code for being wary of the darkness

Even on the filmy surfaces of pools

Rattling in a metal rib cage, over dead rivers and ice melts

Will it ever be warmer than this?

The mercury in the fish made me horny for you

And this was even after people on the street avoided eye contact with me, but still wanted the coldness in your eyes

Too bad they only looked warmer underneath me

" . . . You know how hard it is for me to

Shake the disease"


To sleep away

It's the social democracy we died for

The social democracy

If I don't hold the gaze, my image gets distorted or worse


I didn't have to break the sea in half, to know I'm not wanted here

The violence of domestication is a history of grunts and spurting sounds

You can tell by the proximity of sounds and color really embedded in the skin like encrusted jewels upon a broken emblem

I am recording this to remember that this is real and maybe I had a choice but this is of course up to the audience


I got so happy when writing this, I could barely finish

But then it all came back again and leaked onto me, you, and the bed sheets

". . . I'm feeling much stranger about you . . . ":

You didn't need the threat of bondage of other lands



Gummy flesh


To not


Benefit from whiteness

It's a blinding and unwavering light

It is rapture

There is no need for intimacy when your flesh is in proximity

It's takes us all

How strong this is, even when it's broken against me

Neither one of us belong here, in the north

America broke every highway into the wood

At first we descended from the sky, but then by boat

dying to let you know, brown does not equal "foreigner" but can be a stranger in the village too