The Protagonists

p
o
e
m
s

At one time,
I asked for everything—

When I saw how my love was squandered,
I would secrete venom.

But now I sing of the fat, sleepy
little censor
who has replaced me, whose disappointments

create the life of the house.
What does the human heart love?
To go, to have so far to go,

in deepest night!

The challenge now
is to convey the supreme gaiety
of the heart:

it is a stone
flung from a volcano.

Sandra Lim is the author of the poetry collections Loveliest Grotesque (2006), which won a Kore Press First Book Award for Poetry, and The Wilderness (2014), winner of a Barnard Women Poets Prize. Lim’s work has been anthologized in Gurlesque (2010), The Racial Imaginary (2015), and Among Margins: An Anthology on Aesthetics (2015). She is an associate professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

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