FROM SWAMPS

we,

the products of the northern swamp // the rural brutes who smell of oil and firebugs // the family saviors

armed with spit and thought // the quiet ones screaming loaded words // the shield-humans full of bullet

holes // the cliques with no names // the tough skinned with the softest hearts // the love-starved from the

start

we,

the empty “my people” lists // the singulars without

we,

the my, and not ours

we,

the I

we,

the products of the northern swamp // the odd ones out // the products made singular // the not exclusive,

but defective // the religious with no God // the striving for the Us

 

we,

the I, and the empty of my hands

Yeldana Talgatkyzy is a Williams College student from Astana, Kazakhstan. Her poetry is mainly concerned with colonialism, familial and ancestral bonds, and generational trauma.