Infection blurts out the intimacy of our hands
while strangling waves charter millions of vascular bodies.

Oceanic, in the dark, our vacillating bodies.
My wrists were tied to yours down the year of middle passage.

Separation's neither right nor a rite of passage.
Which of us captained the poem's inward turn?

Cabin fever—our wants turn inward.
Nothing personal, but I can't keep this just between us.

Personal, sure, but not exactly private.
I watch self-obsession on a tube turn viral.

Everything's viral: obsession, fashion, fear.
Cut the ties that bind, and there's not even a world.

Something nanoscopic scrolling by transmits a world,
wondrously infectious. Blurred, intimately in hand.

Shadow at Noon

Backlight of day against me. The hand

a moment draws, its fngers through my hair

then away. I part my love with my lips.

             His person, here then gone—

I sew him into language so as to see:

a wing's smudge against a glass door,

fixing the ephemeral to a partition in the light.

Alysia Nicole Harris is a poet, arts writer and charismatic follower of Jesus. She serves as arts and soul editor at Scalawag Magazine and currently resides in Corsicana, Texas, where she coaches a local slam team and works to restore a 106 year-old CME church to its former glory.

A version of "Shadow at Noon" first appeared in The Offing.