four square

here     :           MA

here     :           LA

here     :           UT

here     :          


the pond left behind, the one behind her wind, long and wide, and the car breaks down in the wettest city, the dead didn't know to swim, and when it sighs before the family-owned motel, she knows the motel and the uncle partly completed his passing, I'm ready to begin the plan that first included my brother



open    :           ronni

open    :           annie

open    :           luna

open    :           kari


every woman has her pulp, tear back her rind, sweet, overripe, in due time, bitter skin under nails and included in the count of my sheets; sunrise I stepped from their breasts, now bored by loops in their thought, their promises and shortbreads, they architect their bodies, come in, come in, look at all the better than


break   :           story

break   :           fish

break   :           tears

break   :           sense


head ached enough too many months and it wasn't fair I had the charge of our lives and it wasn't charge you didn't understand and I had this conversation alone each night and I didn't like questions, the way some answers arrived, awake in morning and mad and sorry I knew only slaughter, a terrible pulling fright

breathe :         apart

walk :   apart

fall :         apart

always :          


an identity gone, fingerprints washed, now waiting for other-face to emerge, did we lie to keep ourselves interested, parked in lit arenas of heart, burger after burger the hunger untamed, an unforgettable dim, I rode the bus around the lake, the lake froze me corrected, and the gaggle, oh the gaggle, with bread and unnecessary fear



Selected by the San Francisco Bay Guardian for the 2010 Hot Pink List, Arisa White is a Cave Canem fellow and holds a MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Author of two poetry chapbooks, Disposition for Shininess (Factory Hollow Press, 2008) and Post Pardon (Mouthfeel Press, 2011), she currently writes ten-page plays as a part of Monday Night PlayGround at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. She has received residencies, fellowships, or scholarships from Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Hedgebrook, Atlantic Center for the Arts, University of Western Michigan, Fine Arts Work Center, and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2005, her poetry has appeared in many journals and is featured on the CD WORD with the Jessica Jones Quartet. She currently lives in Oakland, CA.