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Isabel Balee


without a center, i wonder how much i missed, having been able to recall very little of my life until now.

the candle burns on the windowsill liquefying lifespans, our body language, an exacto knife, a tiny orb, stringed light or cut on my thumb when i squeeze the lemon.

sun warms earth anemic to be loved. from the position of tell me what arises from ash, i’ve seen death so many times in a green field reborn, fissured.


let us imagine crevices of church bells & what language cannot consider. the act is not an experiment but a long dream of writing. an airplane lands outside the window & it snows.

to be put back together someday, a kind of nakedness. this isn’t a letter but a thirst before image took place in sound.


i scratched my eye against a branch, a sentence, vestigial landmark, procedural war where water is scarce. in my dream a girl handed me a joint which fell apart in a hotel with the same elevator systems of a different dream. language freezes over, considering its distance from here. fragments of weather, rain in caskets, hurricanes.

running on Carrolton i suddenly remember the hospital bed, curvature of coldness, rough, imperfect pearl: i want to love a silence of ghosts, i want to ask my mother whether she knew she would die when she did.

womb of myself, land so soft & mythic. i fracture my center, cavernous, archaic. the river valley & a granite crucifix, soot streaked on the window, sun-drenched & swollen local tenderness under the shoulder blade.

language structures death, a world of blood-streaked edges, gradations of an oil slick in the gulf. i bury my orbits behind a magnolia tree where conditions worsen overlooking the river, long shape of me.

Isabel Balée
was born and raised in New Orleans and has roots in Beléa do Pará, Brazil. Recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Cosmonauts Avenue, Prelude, and Deluge. Find out more at http://ibalee.tumblr.com/