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B.A. Wingate

   

Listen to B.A. Wingate read "Pidgin"
 

Pidgin

If I paint it often enough, God will give it to me.
                                      — Georgia O'Keeffe
  

      i

Pidgin
happens when
two languages
collide.
The invasion
drops the
verge words
and the mead words
and those unnecessary
words
for colors.
What’s left
is a few
road-words and
blind-words,
like cup
and lover,
and a small
volume of
hand motions.

  

     ii

Hiking
into an
unrecovered
country
you need
no word
like sidereal
to indicate
the distance
behind
stars.
No word
like thanatos
to mean night
swimming.
If you break camp
in the pouring,
the coldsoak
can return you
to water.

  

     iii

But live
through
that wash
and you liberate
a creole
of native
worlds.
Hike
back
into the city
in rain.
Start from
grunt
and point.
End up
with adjectives
for different
kinds of
theatre.
Regain
words
for colors
like
music,
painting
and warbirds.

  

    

Beth Wingate is a poet and climate scientist who resides in northern New Mexico. Her poetry can be found in journals such as the Santa Fe Literary Review, Natural Bridge, and The Iowa Review. Beth is a graduate of the University of Michigan's Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Research program.
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