In the Northern Hemisphere – Michigan Quarterly Review

In the Northern Hemisphere

Published in Spring 2024 Online Folio

Birdsong never left you to anthrophonic crackling ice,

no. Cattle egrets never pitched water, smacking

your face, across the bed after you returned

home fresh from sleeping with two white boys.

Birds come back each spring with no apologies,

like dogs will be dogs. You hear their voices rising

deep behind your eyes, how music plays in a stranger’s car

a generation away. Say warblers fly back from Ft. Lauderdale.

Why not? Icebergs drift north tuned in to the evening news

rebroadcast on Radio 1. Hauling-ass to high-resource areas,

geese pass in V-shaped skeins playing games of telephone.

When I whisper softly You’re enough I make you hear it

as I’m enough, too. Your fam told you scram after I bust open

your lip, then dislocated your shoulder; but you still want to

know how many licks will get us to the center of these troubles.

Migrations span one to several states. Hundreds of dirty

glaciers in a new container ship drowned last night

off the coast of Greece. Their white, dazzling faces calving

in sheets of blue. Separated fingers and locs of ice

float over summer’s fizzy spume. The coast guard arrested

every surviving glacier. Breeding and nesting, in our room,

you and me, unloyal and scary, in the northern hemisphere.

This piece is from our Spring 2024 African Writing Online Folio, an online-exclusive extension of our special issue, “African Writing: A Partial Cartography of Provocations,” guest edited by Chris Abani. You can read more from our Spring 2024 issue, available for purchase in print and digital forms here.

Kami Enzie is a Vienna-born, New Orleans–raised queer Nigerian Filipino writer. Work appears or will soon in Black Warrior Review, Chicago Review, Image, Obsidian, Oversound, Passages North, The Poetry Review (UK), and elsewhere. His writing has received support from Vermont College of Fine Art’s Postgraduate Writers’ Conference. He is an alumnus of Tin House Winter Workshops and received an MFA in 2023 from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. (IG: @yungwerther)

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