Sarah Blake

Kanye's Skeletal System

206 bones, filled with marrow, connected

by tendons, ligaments, fitted in joints,

divided into axial and appendicular skeletons.


Bones break, fracture. They bruise. Sometimes,

kissing contusions.


The Googled images for this show

scans and x-rays of knees, and couples kissing,

and pictures of Rihanna with Chris Brown.


Oh god, fact-checker.


Kanye has broken his bones.

But no matter how many places the skull

is broken, it's only one bone breaking.


First, a baby will have a skeleton completely

of cartilage.


In the fourth month of pregnancy, it begins to turn to bone.


And then I'll hold onto those bones forever.


Kanye, I could tell you so many more things about the bones.

I could tell you to drink your milk.

I could imagine you in the 80's "got milk?" ads.


That ad campaign began in 1993.


Fact-checker, please.


You're no better. What are you really thinking?


Kanye, did your mother, in her hands, hold your broken face?


So swollen.

Could she?

My Summer with Kanye

So many crickets, small and brown, so small, babies maybe, hardly in control, their jumps foolish and sweet.


My birthday this year was everything I wanted it to be. My mother and sisters came. We swam in the Hampton Inn's outdoor pool. We ate prepared foods from Wegman's.


That day, the NY Times blog posted about Kanye's music video for "Power":


Mr. West is seen standing imposingly with a heavy chain around his neck. As Mr. West raps, the camera slowly zooms out in one continuous, unedited take to reveal him in a classical structure, surrounded by female attendants who are partly or entirely nude; some kneel before him on all fours, others wear devil horns and still others are suspended upside down from the ceiling.


So much is false, and the voice of the viewer. Is Kanye imposing? Is the chain heavy? Do the women kneel before him? What does that look like? A woman apologizing? With some request?


The horns are not as devilish as they are the horns of dinosaurs, the minotaur, an African gazelle, a god of the sea I imagine, the shapes of twisted arms, dark, twisted arms.


And there is no ceiling. The sky moves in the video.


Two weeks later, Kanye is quoted as saying, “I’m not trying to dive into anything unless I really, really think that I can marry this person. I look at this person and I say, ‘This is how I want my daughter to be.’”


I'm thinking of babies, too.

Sarah Blake

<em>Edit Poetry</em> Sarah Blake

Sarah Blake lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband and son. Other poems from her collection about Kanye West appear at the Boston Review, The Awl, and Witness.