“Go then and seek your asylum love.”
after Sergei Parajanov’s The Color of Pomegranates

i wear love down like a moth-bitten scarf, 
grinding fabric between 

my teeth    i have a need to satisfy my
aching gums    my

will to make it 
               bend    has fled, i mean he

has fled
the discipline of my jaw    my hand 

the abuse of my tender 
pen.                    oh,

asylee
              where have you gone 

my love? i think i see you 
dancing, beneath the mid-atlantic sun.

i whisper your name—
                      asylee, asylee— 

hoping the late june heat carries 
my need    that my   
 
voice presses through to
     you     who lets out a withering 

scream     you, another among 
many, waving under a tall tree 

i plot this land inherited 
by love. transient in trauma, i 

dance in its quiet nest, in
twigs drenched in blood—             oh

the tyranny of these hands.      
                 of my    with my 

hands    i feed 
              my love 

the soil’s boiled blood
i tear from his    mouth

               reeds of his throat, rolling them 
between my fingers,     acrid and dry.

Cover art: “Begin Again,” by Autumn Hunnicutt

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Victoria Stitt

Victoria Stitt is a poet currently reading and writing about the intricacies of Black and brown bodies in transformed and transforming spaces. They teach English to juniors and seniors, aiming to instill in their students a sense of urgency for achieving social justice and a love for writing. Their work has appeared in Yes Poetry, Harbor Review, LEON Literary Review, Shanghai Literary Review, Carolina Quarterly and is forthcoming in Juked. They are a Philadelphia native, an MFA candidate at Warren Wilson College, and a dancer.

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