Volume 14:4, Fall 2013
Prose Poem Issue
Syndrome: the persistent impression that you are waking up into the world and dying. Most common symptom: double vision. People and objects refracted: hexagonal glass panes in an atriums roof a trawlers net; the utility pole against an orange sky a burning cross; the curled wrought-iron headboard black rat snakes crawling out your skull at night. On the metro, a womans shawl transforms into the cheesy-white skein of afterbirth and the veins in your hands split like arid soil as a homeless man, thrusting worn peonies at drowsy passengers, repeats: you must know the names of flowers and hands you your heart on a broken stem.
Heliconius butterflies, classical models of Müllerian mimicry, display a continuum of geographic divergence by altering the photonic scattering of light from the landscape of their scabrous wings. German naturalist, Fritz Müller describes this mimicry as a phenomenon where two or more species that may or may not be closely related, but share a common predator, mimic the others warning signals. Often, the usually clear identity of mimic and model are blurred. For instance, to assault the marauding darkness of despair, the immigrant speaks of homeland where the lights of the city yield to a pastoral rhythm, where the mangroves prayer is visible as evening falls, or where hyaline noon comes wrapped in noiseless rain. Soon, this life is dominated by the other life they must all begin: the riotous flickering of fluorescents, night shifts paralyzing daylight hours, the constant menacing of sirens. To survive, they pack their old selves into battered suitcases, don characterless uniforms, fit their faces into blank stares – the mask becoming the man, but slowly.
Stacia Cyrene Yearwood, originally from the beautiful twin island Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, has called Washington, DC home for the past nine years. She received her MFA from American University this past May and is currently teaching Humanities to students in grades 11 and 12. This is her first publication.