With the end of 2019 came lists and awards from media outlets about the past ten years in review. Among these was the declaration by The New Republic that Rupi Kaur was their writer of the decade. Kaur, at only twenty-seven years old, is known as an “Instapoet,” and owes much of her success to her highly popular Instagram account where she publishes short poems accompanied by distinct line drawings. Kaur currently has 3.9 million followers, and her posts alternate between coloured photos—often of Kaur herself—and poems made up of black text on a white background. Social media poetry tends to follow a similar structure: aesthetic, brief, and easily digestible.
“What are the colours of your body?” She asks me. As if she cannot see for herself what I am.
As if she cannot believe her eyes.
A child is born, swaddled in fur and kindness
unattainable the head but / how important a high / hungry sleep
I want to ask you what your water tastes like today: / set my watch to the rising of the sun
this is yellow / don’t talk to /
me about / blue