Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Poem of the Week: Sonja de Vries

Illegal Borders

a scar starting below his

cheekbone ran down the length

of his face like a road map,

disappeared under his

chin and into his uniform

and my mouth - treacherous

flesh - wanted to kiss the top

of his scar, follow it down,

unbutton his starched shirt to see

where it would lead, but my mind -

that loyal sergeant -

kept me walking, passport open,

my lips moving in prayer.

-Sonja de Vries

Used by permission.

Sonja de Vries is a Kentucky-born writer, filmmaker, and queer social justice activist. She believes that art is integral to creating a deep and lasting transformation of society. She was raised by a powerful radical, activist mother and grandmother. The poetry of Mahmoud Darwish, Nazim Hikmet, Gabriela Mistral and others formed her consciousness and continue to inspire her. De Vries's first book Planting A Garden In Baghdad will be released by Finishing Line Press in January 2011.

de Vries was the third place winner of the 2010 Split This Rock Poetry Contest and attended the 2010 festival.

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