We look more like each other than we look like ourselves by Tamiko Beyer


I carry a word in my walls. Or two,
to share. What I was once sure of,
I am no longer. I’ve lost the feeling of being

a small girl putting on a dress
that will never be that clean again. I lost
a doll’s face to the teeth of a dog.

I am a lifetime of mediated language.
I found my body, its song of coming,
and it frightened me in its softness.

On the blue plate, the egg hardens –
its solid white, its yolk eye.
Having lived too many moments

to name individually, we become bodies
in motion, circumscribing
responsibility. To touch

is to become responsible.
To say is to become entwined.
Incantations mark a threshold—

step into, become with. Remember
with me the strange light that seeped
under the typhoon shutters three decades ago.

I give you a narrow street and a concrete wall,
inscribed, signified. I carry a stone
in my pocket. Or two, to share.




Tamiko Beyer is the author of We Come Elemental (Alice James Books, 2013) and bough breaks (Meritage Press, 2011). She is the Associate Communications Director at Corporate Accountability International where she harnesses the written word to challenge some of the most powerful and abusive corporations in the world.