For Those Who Learn To Sew Sorrow
Let me mend this for you, I say to Niece,
let me sew our sorrow–stitch at what we
are left with, let me teach you, where we place
our fingers next to sliver of needle.
Let me show you a woman’s strength, already
conjured forth from you at seven years old.
I see it, in your ghost cries for daddy,
in the way you hold counsel at brass urn.
I tell you, like Mother told me, when we
become blood pricked, we suck in the crimson
drop, take in the taste of metal to rough
nubbed tongue and continue, guiding fabric.
Our hands brown to desert, turn the ravaged
tender–our fingers winded memory
This selection comes from the book, Brother Bullet, available from University of Arizona Press. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Sarah Clark .
Casandra López is a California Indian (Cahuilla/Tongva/Luiseño) and Chicana writer who has received support from CantoMundo, Bread Loaf, and Tin House. She’s the author of the poetry collection, Brother Bullet and has been selected for residencies with the School of Advanced Research, Storyknife, Hedgebrook and Headlands Center for the Arts. Her memoir-in-progress, A Few Notes on Grief was granted a 2019 James W. Ray Venture Project Award. She’s a founding editor of As/ Us and teaches at Northwest Indian College.
Sarah Clark is a disabled non-binary Nanticoke editor, writer, and cultural consultant. They are Editor-in-Chief and Poetry Editor at Anomaly (www.anmly.org
), Co-Editor of the Bettering American Poetry series (www.betteringamericanpoetry.com
) and The Queer Movement Anthology (Seagull Books, 2021), a reader at The Atlas Review and Doubleback Books, and an Editorial Board member at Sundress Press. She curated Anomaly‘s GLITTERBRAIN folio (http://anmly.org/ap25-glitterbrain/
) and a folio on Indigenous & Decolonial Futures & Futurisms (http://anmly.org/ap-27-indigenous-futures/
), edited Drunken Boat’s folios on Sound Art, “Desire & Interaction,” and a collection of global indigenous art and literature, “First Peoples, Plural.” They were co-editor of Apogee Journal‘s #NoDAPL #Still Here folio, and co-edited Apogee Journal‘s series “WE OUTLAST EMPIRE,” of work against imperialism, and “Place[meant]“, on place and meaning, and is a former Executive Board member at VIDA. Sarah freelances, and has worked with a number of literary and arts publications and organizations. www.twitter.com/petitobjetb