Laboni Islam



Small frog, making throat-song in San Juan, you

launch your voice into the night chorus. There are rests

between rainforest sounds, where you

loop yourself in like Mundillo lace,

till the noise is so taut I cannot tug a single note

from the weave. This is adaptation —

to possess decibels bigger than your body.

In a large, green leaf, you are small, green and sitting.

Oh, to be amphibious! To move

swiftly between elements without dying. Gills gone,

you are all lungs, squeezing syllables into a bubble.

Ventriloquist, mouth unmoving, how you

misdirect. Insist on being heard, not found.




Laboni Islam is a Toronto-based arts educator and poet. She currently works at the Art Gallery of Ontario, animating the gap between art and young audiences. She teaches for the moment when discovery flips a light-switch on in a learner. Laboni’s poetry has appeared in FreeFall and WILDNESS, and is the recipient of the Janice Colbert Poetry Award (2014) and Marina Nemat Award (2016).