Alycia Pirmohamed – Hinge (ignitionpress)
Alycia Pirmohamed impressed the judges with her ability to chart an emotional landscape of identity, stretched between the geographical poles of Canadian Alberta and Indian Kutch. Gaps and rifts of this terrain, as well as its bridges and crossings, are mapped with geometrical precision. Yet these lines are created to embrace what is blurry, tentative, elliptical; tenderness hovers over the view as a fog. The disorientation serves as a stepping-stone into another dimension: the poetry soars off the map and finds its metaphysical belonging in the vision of Allah, on the connection to whom Hinge hinges.
How to Say Dark
There is a young girl at the riverbank,
knees and hair wet.
Her body unhinges like a black bear’s mouth.
The salmon blink through
her every Ya Allah. There is no right answer
for how to feel peace.
She drifts in the water, a blur of girlhood
split too many times,
the ligament between korosho trees
and lodgepole pine. To a young daughter
in a teeming body of water, it is a shame
that nothing below the meniscus
has a name but her—
so she calls one fish plum for its bruised
brown colour. She names the wet ferns
ripple as they scatter around her thighs.
Even the water in evening churns differently
from daylight green.
It darkens, and she knows better than most
how to say dark.