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Clade Song 7


The View from Inside 

Pink ribbon coiled in the toilet.
Oh where did you come from?
How pretty you are inside ceramic.
Did I drop you from my hair, my pants?

But – I own no pink ribbon,
I recall, half queasy.
I lean in and your tapered tip
flicks—am I really seeing this?

To check, my eyes catch
your middle—bend in your river—
watch as your C shifts, languid, into a W.
Oh yes, I am seeing you.

There are no waves in this sea but you.
QueenKing of your demesne,
You curl and uncurl with calm,
As if you unfurl your royal standard.

Perhaps unaware of your feat:
For it seems you have swum out from me.

Nine – inches – long.

All these months I’ve pitied my lonely,
Craved to break that single status,
It turns out I wasn’t single at all.
My relationship status false.

Oh little pink baby.
Oh long lover mine.

Must have found you back in Bahia’s Rio Negro,
When I plunged in its copper-black murk,
Invisible, you must have come in my mouth,
Swum my lungs, wove colon

With your slender pink thread. Migrant,
You grew in me, all these months—19—
You feasted, sewed fat & strong, exile
In a new country.


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Tiffany Higgins photo Tiffany Higgins is the author of The Apparition at Fort Bragg (2016), an e-chapbook, winner of the Iron Horse Literary Review e-single contest for a long poem, selected by Camille Dungy, available free here. Her book And Aeneas Stares into Her Helmet (Carolina Wren Press, 2009) was selected by Evie Shockley as winner of the Carolina Wren Poetry Prize. Her chapbook of translations from Portuguese of Rio poet Alice Sant’Anna’s poetry, Tail of the Whale, was published by Toad Press in 2016. Her poems appear in Broadsided Press, The California Journal of Poetics, Catamaran Literary Reader, From the Fishouse, Kenyon Review, Massachusetts Review, Poetry, Prelude, Taos Journal of Poetry & Art, and are forthcoming in Ghost Fishing, an anthology of ecojustice poems (U Georgia). She is currently writing on threats to indigenous and traditional communities in Brazil’s Amazon.