Poem by Robin Coste Lewis
after Jean Rhys & Charlotte Brontë
I was born in the attic
because Mother claimed
brown the more honest name
for beige. They hit her —
the doctor, the priest, her
mother. She sat alone
all day, spitting her teeth
out like pomegranate.
There is this large putrid jar
beneath our bed. I came
after she climbed out
too often with the yard man
to lay cane. Now our days
will be out of doors, instead
of inside them; our future will lie
with petals, caterpillars, well-dressed
moss, hypnotic snails, clapping
orange frogs that know to climb
which tree for the ripest alligator
pear. Every ocean has known us,
Mother says, no shore is insignificant.
For every ship, still, the smallest sea
can be too wide. The world sits on the edge
of God’s razor, she says. And every day —
every day — He shaves
His fat face.
A FILM BY
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
John Martin Jr.
First Assistant Camera
John Tyler Beck
Voice Records Engineer
American Poetry Review
The Poetry Foundation
VIDA: Women in Literary Arts
“Every Day,” a poem by Robin Coste Lewis. ©2017 Robin Coste Lewis. Used by permission
of The Wylie Agency LLC.
This poem originally appeared in The New York Times. Collected in Resistance, Rebellion,
Life: 50 poems Now (Knopf Books).
Motionpoems New York City Premiere
Motionpoems LA Premiere
Motionpoems Dublin Premiere