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,
Ramallah,
Port-au-prince,
Baltimore,
Fallujah.

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.

carlsirah@gmail.com