Basma Kavanagh


with long felted throats but lacking tongues,

we talk in flared flamenco gesture,

the swirl of spun-skirts that flounce

to the syncopated claps of poplar leaves.

speech is for animals. we dance, mine meaning

and secret, flex ruffled flesh to test

coiled tendrils of air. we raise black wings

and flap, stamp damp leaves, shiver tempo

down to listening roots, the rapt hyphae,

delve into the seeping cracks between realms.

we twirl in slow motion, snap

with electricity, whip spores over acres

of thrumming forest, deliver our fierce piece

with pieces of ourselves.



Basma Kavanagh is a poet, visual artist, and letterpress printer who lives and works in Nova Scotia, in Mi’kma’ki. She has published two collections of poetry, Distillō (Gaspereau, 2012), and Niche (Frontenac, 2015), and a book-length poem, Ruba’iyat for the Time of Apricots (Frontenac 2018).

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