• Dinah Roma


Repetition Compulsion


And why not?

Why shouldn’t I seek

the likeness of God? Of Him

who teaches love is knowing

something is born in us again.

Baptised into this I who steers a fate

beyond navigating. The relics of lives

I bear anew in the name I am given.

I am the story told many times over.

I am someone in someone else’s

body of someone else. When I long

it is my mother’s own heft of desire

burning through an afternoon’s

melancholy, my father lost in the swirl

of radiance of who they were, shadows

swelling inside her soon to be

the heirs of their fragments.


In the binds of tenderness, we reach.

Yet we are not who we touch.

In the glimpse of mirror we are wedded to

the past restores in the remnants

of the child we forget. Her soft flesh

is given to the marvels of wound—

the cuts that heal many times over

into scars nurtured beyond notice

by the voice chasing after her name

as she runs breathless

at the instance of embrace.




A Kind of Remembering


Neuroscience insists it lies

fragile beneath the white arc

where a clump of muscles

flex in dark grace of memory

until faces fuse with their names again,

syllables of shape and silhouette.


A precise time heals

wound into another presence—

the phantom of a limb. The mind

haunting the flesh as when the arm

reaches for what was once there,

or of what it can remember

of itself ensnared now

by absence.


This cold science probes

the body’s vastness to master

where thought and gestures collide

as sinews trail for hints buried

into neural tracks, those we forget

to trust in the daily failings

of our inattention


Then discover

when space and emptiness conspire

in the aftermath of love or loss

or when someone simply leaves,

and we awaken to an elsewhere

that inhabits us as well.