National Poetry Month Day 21: Cynthia Dewi Oka

By

 

 

 

That’s What She Said

 

sorry, I’m so sorry

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the migraine is ripe & yellow as a mango

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I shot out like a lizard’s tongue in the church of deadlines

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the caulk broke due to an infinite, unnamable leak

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the leak produced mold as a free economic zone

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lorem ipsum dolor

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to hold meaningless until great distress

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my apologies there were so many

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emails excuse me

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I wanted to

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I had every intention

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to make the spine twisting like a stair

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confess its termites

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does that make sense, let me know if you need me to

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have any questions openly ended

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there has been an explosion in my calf or labia

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sorry I meant calendar

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I was under it

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dictionary, radical helmet, the wind gossip whips

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up in the bamboos, imminent derelictions saved as PDFs

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I have attached everything, resent

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all my high resolutions

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please eat or can/did

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the grin of the washing machine’s

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facial recognition software, tomorrow/some time I will

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be hearted & whetting, having successfully

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delayed the onset of symptoms, glued

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my bulb of pheromones in these Baltic years of our landlord

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pleased for your consideration, thank

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you from & apologies once

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more with the butane sincerity of the bottomest for

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the inconvenience, this skin

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flaming like a horn

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Photograph of Cynthia Dewi Oka by Jose Quintana.


Cynthia Dewi Oka is the author of Fire Is Not a Country, forthcoming in fall 2021 from Northwestern University Press (NUP), Salvage: Poems (NUP, 2017) and Nomad of Salt and Hard Water (Thread Makes Blanket, 2016). The recipient of the 2019 Tupelo Quarterly Poetry Prize and a 2017 Leeway Transformation Award, she has also been an organizer for fifteen years in movements for racial, gender, and economic justice. She currently teaches creative writing at Bryn Mawr College and is a 2021-2022 Amy Clampitt Resident. She holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College, and is originally from Bali, Indonesia. She is currently based in New Jersey, Lenape Land, with her son and partner. IG/Twitter: @freedewi. More from this author →