Ghazal of the Postcolonial

Poems inscribed on a side of bamboo, passed through villages
from hand to hand. This beautiful, flowing syllabary is precolonial.

Be careful when you use the ancient scripts as tattoo art
around your arms. It might read “liar” instead of precolonial.

The season’s prints are tribal, ethnic: tie-dyed, resembling
knotted bark. This ikat weave, suddenly fashionable: the precolonial—

Petite, Extra Small, Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, Extra Extra Large:
the pliant leaf in one-size-fits-all. Who wore it best? us precolonials?

One fold of collar, one pass at sleeve. Piece by piece,
the pattern. What version predates all others? The precolonial.

A white man publishes in India, Hong Kong, or Spain; it’s no big deal.
When a writer of color does the same, she’s only as good as precolonial.


In response to Via Negativa: Pinnipedestrian.

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