Original art by Anna D'Alessandro

Scavenger

I scavenge my body for growths, dead skin, artefacts

to be peeled, or pushed out and discarded

I do this because of a childish restlessness or a restlessness

I’ve had since childhood strangling my insides. The

town is full of strays like me, their protruding ribs are all I see,

hunched bodies groping the garbage so I know

they are starving like us. Like us they are dying slowly. I start

to distrust anyone who cannot see their body

for what it is – machine and marvel – an ecosystem

attempting to survive in another ecosystem

that bends it to the spinning will of the universe.

The hills are on fire and I do not understand

why my hands smell of smoke.

Richard Georges is an author of essays, stories, and three collections of poetry. He is the current Poet Laureate of the Virgin Islands, and his most recent book, Epiphaneia (Out-Spoken, 2019) won the 2020 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean literature. His full bio is here.

Richard Georges is an author of essays, stories, and three collections of poetry. He is the current Poet Laureate of the Virgin Islands, and his most recent book, Epiphaneia (Out-Spoken, 2019) won the 2020 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean literature. His full bio is here.

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