Q’orianka Kilcher

Every fan has their dream ensemble cast, and mine includes someone who hasn’t co-starred with Russell Crowe yet, Q’Orianka Kilcher. She ripped my heart out and didn’t give it back when I saw The New World. I have some fan poetry about The New World that I’m happy with, but I can’t come close to the depth of her performance. I’m just compelled to try, because it got inside my head and needs an outlet in my own words. This one mirrors the rhythm of a fan video I found on YouTube that helped me escape the perspective of a girl who can’t see her first love as having betrayed her totally.

To fall aside from the world in a night of my own
possessed of a history none could atone
a child of a kingdom of new refugees
whose love brought their beautiful world to its knees
an exile and hostage abandoned at last
to a place without culture or sense of the past
I begin to acknowledge the ruse in your speech,
the secrets we swam in a treason to each.
I strain toward a silence that governs my loss
and not toward the signal that reaches across
the distance you placed in our covenant’s stead
a voyage so far not a word could be said.
I turn to my shadow and ask of the dark
is this love sufficient to wear such a mark?
An orphan to living kin, a stranger unsound within
I turn in amazement to everything.
I scoop the earth, and no rebirth
consoles my heart, a soul apart
the ghost of an heir to a dynasty,
I speak to you, and suffer through
indignity, resigned pity
the work that my body is alive to.
Though I forget, the touch of wet
the weight of leaves, the tug of sleeves
the habit of foot fall releases me.
I am a creature here, still touched by fear
a woman too, the one you knew
and I can abide by the solitude.

The movie is full of historical detail, but her last encounter with John Smith is not the way he described it, more forgiving and more romantic than her last words to him as he recorded them. She reminded him of his duty to her father and her people, who had adopted him when he was a feared enemy and prisoner in their land, a duty she felt he had abandoned when he left Jamestown. As a stranger in his country, she then asked for his protection as he had had her father’s, and called him father, to his great discomfort. Still, their last scene in the movie is beautiful.

Your high heeled shoes evoke a winding stair
narrow and resounding as a tower
for a bell, your captive hair an image
of a bird with unerring, proud carriage,
your skirts a library of roseate leaves
laid out in eloquent marble that receives
the voice of public men and magnifies
their speeches while it elevates men’s eyes,
your waist a famous line still whispered by
young husbands patiently seeking a sigh.
Your voice is that which lives inside this room,
a space for sound as measured as a loom,
and like a silhouette in stone, body
and clothes belong more to the garden’s tree
than to the echo of the child I knew,
repeating “ear” and “lips” with lips made new
by listening and learning language fresh
and full of undisclosed allusions etched
in half-forgotten etiologies.
Just then, your innocence of mysteries,
false speech, deceit and innuendo kept
your happiness in Orphic peace – you slept.
Today you speak with reservation, kind
and knowing, now forgiving, you unwind
yourself from me with delicate regard,
and I am no longer inside your guard.

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Filed under Acting, Dream Ensemble, Poetry

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