The self has no other language than the one it is taught:when it says the word girl, the image never changes:a soft hourglass that cannot note the time:

the self searches for words to name the body:          so the name can change:          so the cage will open:

the self seeks a name that means neither boy nor girl:          not baron or fleur:          not Louis or Louise:but something to which a meaning cannot be attached:

sometimes the self feels like fire and takes the name fire:

to be a true self means finding one’s own name:          in a gathering of clouds:          in a grove of trees:          in a body of water:an environment where the self can freely become.

Julie Brooks Barbour is the author of Haunted City (Aldrich Press, 2016) and Small Chimes (Aldrich Press, 2014), as well as three chapbooks, most recently Beautifully Whole (Hermeneutic Chaos Press, 2015). She is co-editor of Border Crossing and Poetry Editor at Connotation Press: An Online Artifact. A recipient of an Artist Enrichment Grant from Kentucky Foundation for Women and a residency at Sundress Academy for the Arts, she teaches writing at Lake Superior State University.

BMP Celebrates National Poetry Month

If “love calls us to the things of this world,” then poetry too can call us to think about challenging questions, difficult situations, and social justice, implicating and engaging the reader with the world we live in, in the hope that this engagement is a step toward wrestling with our better selves.