Illustration by Olivia Twist

Renia White is a writer and instructor originally from Maryland. Her poetry can be found in The Recluse, Southern Indiana Review, the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day series, and elsewhere. She’s based in Brooklyn, NY where she’s at work on her next book-length project.

and when it came to pass that I could stomach
nearly every glimpse abaft this ragged hopscotch
—my way-making of meteoric precision—

I’d surmised: to travel, I’d have to span my own
heart’s continent—its rivets of fancy pudding shops
and cheap dumplings

languid landmarks erected out of neptunian necessity
uranian upendedness I’d invited along my walking
toward a star

I’d pulled toward me
by my wending

and it felt as if I was carrying something that looked
just like its name. if you knew it you knew and I walked
through the town having been everyone I’d already

I am on my -nth heart, I’d say.

could have arrived here subdued
soothed by a public garden

yet I’d chosen the darkest grift
brought myself to every fight I lost
could not find the foreign rift

moved along in riffs
of mastery and frailty
goodness on my lips

was king
we needn’t a king

off the shore of oneself again…

let me out right here—
radius from my own center
far enough to take it in

I’m meeting a man who 
specializes in optics; we are
building a branch of understanding


among trees, I pretend I’m present
floral-dressed belligerence, half-scribbling
a coherent rendering of an ongoing storm

I lose my footing and press into the earth
where it gives–piercing the green
syntactically, whacking the cobblestone

with unpatterned glances 
until I find a place to listen, a happening
that doesn’t see me coming, but can feel