Tracy K. Smith

Poems by Tracy K. Smith

excerpt of "The Nobodies"

excerpt of "Duende"

A Hunger So Honed

  Tracy K. Smith

The earth is dry and they live wanting.
Each with a small reservoir
Of furious music heavy in the throat.
They drag it out and with nails in their feet
Coax the night into being.  Brief believing.
A skirt shimmering with sequins and lies.
And in this night that is not night,
Each word is a wish, each phrase
A shape their bodies ache to fill—

                        I’m going to braid my hair
                Braid many colors into my hair
                        I’ll put a long braid in my hair
                And write your name there

They defy gravity to feel tugged back.
The clatter, the mad slap of landing.


Excerpt of “Duende” from DUENDE (Graywolf Press, 2007)