Resistance by Lisa Cheby

Native to the bush are black boys, now called

grass trees, that grow two centimeters a year.

In private, my aunt still uses their old name.


Inland, dust combusts. Fires preserve

the continent’s aboriginal species:

Australian bush, California brush.


Oceans spew updrafts, too weak to hold accumulated weight

of rain that pelts the steel-blue waves until they break into white bubbles

while the blackest depths resist the downdrafts of outraged clouds.


My feet in the Indian Ocean taste the Pacific’s

salt and seaweed, remember how a beach

is pushed forward, then revoked grain by grain.


Somewhere in America bamboo outgrows

its skin each day, straining against itself, like me,

trying to go forward in a sweater caught on a charred limb.

Author Bio
Lisa Cheby is a Los Angeles poet and educator. She received an MFA from Antioch University, worked on the Board of Directors of the Valley Contemporary Poets, and is the new editor of Annotation Nation Poetry. Go to her website for reading and publication information: