"Dear Safira,"

Sarah Riggs


The rest of the world (is not) resting.

The thing I wanted to say is telling.

The whole of the half I whole in you.

Such is the gasp for breath and then breathing.

The sucking to find succor you are.

We went to the pharmacy to find cream.

Your hair a mane over your ukulele.

The song is the words you find.

The place is the house of love for you.

The world is crying and you know it.

Your smile cures ailments.

Your eyes accompany the terrible.

You just you together with us.

The oceans of the world are spreading.

The plastic is choking the sea turtles.

The color of skin is not blind.

You can see and you sing.

                                                                       February 16, 2018

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Author Bio: Sarah Riggs is a writer and artist, born in New York where she is now based, after having spent over a decade in Paris. She is the author of seven books of poetry in English: Waterwork (Chax, 2007), Chain of Minuscule Decisions in the Form of a Feeling (Reality Street, 2007), 60 Textos (Ugly Duckling, 2010), Autobiography of Envelopes (Burning Deck, 2012), Pomme & Granite (1913 Press, 2015) which won a 1913 poetry prize, Eavesdrop (Chax, 2019) and The Nerve Epistle(forthcoming Roof Books, spring 2020/21). She is the author of the book of essays Word Sightings: Poetry and Visual Media in Stevens, Bishop, & O’Hara (Routledge, 2002), and has translated and co-translated six books of contemporary French poetry into English, including most recently Etel Adnan’s Time (Nightboat, 2019).