Carlos Sirah

from What Happens in Ditch Water

When my leg was still my leg, and not a ghost leg.
I walked each row, making sure each seed breached.
You came by on a horse four-hands tall,
Dancing flames ringing the cotton field.
You dipped and arched while I pushed the tractor.
So, we courted over three bitter seasons.
Then, in a copse of dense cool fern vexed only by deer,
I knelt: a wooden flute; You mounted: a knife in clay.
I always sniggered, being insecure.
Averting your gaze, I peered up through the trees.
Called to, a thousand times, I never looked back.

Song of Cyclops

Polyphemus, alone in your cave,
I can hear you in your dark place.
Who would watch, on a moon-surface hillside
Your brothers and sisters
Circle in an oval
Windswept orbit.
From land to land,

from Phantom Soldier

On the soldier highways,
Rusty lean phantom soldiers
With your rucksacks of molten tar
When you slept I put a glass to your chest
And listened.
Remember it was I who sent you away
Angered and uncertain
Remember when you called me an
Ungrateful child
At first I said this freedom has a peal to it.
When you didn’t come back to me.
I knew it was an execution.
Phantom soldier
Reach down
Cross me over.

What I Want

What I want is limitlessness unfettered by the self
What I want is for the world to speak for itself softly at down
with a new truth for a reckoning, for transformation.
What I want is for religions to be obliterated forever more,

at last unshackling the human soul so that we are at last born.
We are yet unborn

What I want is for the air to be forever bursting – charged – excited –.
with the energy from a friend's smile and the sun.

What I want is to crack open my head and invite the world to sit in the immediate room
that is my actual self
that is only their own reflection

What I want is to shatter that mirror,
dash that reflection and reassemble that which is the divine.

What I want is to move ever toward this newness, to write it and have it be so,
to speak it and have it be so.

What I want is movement and song.

What I Want

Carlos Sirah

I served in the Army from 2001-2006 and deployed to Iraq twice, in 2003-2004, 2004-2005. I studied Performance at Fordham University and I am currently pursuing an MFA in Writing for Performance at Brown University. I am a playwright and actor and have been in a few plays, namely Searching for Willie Lynch by Layon Gray, which was part of the National Black Theater Festival. I read my poetry at the Geraline R. Dodge Poetry Festival in 2014.