Billy-Ray Belcourt: Two Poems


  1. he told me he was into natives, but he couldn’t love the traumas
    hidden in my breathing.


  1. how do you tell a ghost that It’s already dead, that it’s a body is a
    fairy tale you stopped reading a long time ago?


  1. what happens when sounds start to work like bandages?


  1. sometimes love feels like vanishing, like taking apart pieces of
    yourself and giving them to someone who can’t use them.


  1. what happens when decolonial love becomes a story you tell
    yourself after he falls asleep?


  1. i tell him: you breathe us. we are in you. look at the blood on your


  1. queer definition: knowing your body is both too much and not
    enough for this world.


  1. i asked the earth to hold all of me and it said i can’t, that it was
    too tired to keep all of us in the world anymore.


  1. sometimes not loving is the most radical thing you can do.




  1. forget everything you’ve learned about love.
  2. investment is the social practice whereby one risks losing it all
    to be part of something that feels like release. lose everything
    with me.


  1. indian time is a form of time travel. a poetics of lateness.


  1. i never liked goodbyes, but some of us aren’t here to stay.


  1. superstition is a mode of being in the world that keeps ghosts like
    me in the living room.


  1. the afterlife is the after party: a choreography of mangled bodies.


  1. i made a poem out of dirt and ate it.


Billy-Ray Belcourt, from This Wound is a World, Frontenac House Poetry, 2017. Used with permission from the press.