Jean’s Memory by featured artist Jamila Clarke
My ring-calloused fingers
trace circles on your back
while you whisper into my ear
about how your legal name
is actually Southern California Trouble.
You keep your tabs of acid
in a copy of The Coming Insurrection.
I want to be pressed tightly
in-between all the darkest parts of you.
I want to meet the ravens
that circle around your pupils
while we gaze at each other like prey,
something to sink our teeth into.
Your talons carried me across your city
before I woke up soaked in you.
Worn, sleepy-eyed, stripped,
plucking feathers from my teeth,
sweating out the night.
Our heat is a curious accident,
maybe a planned mistake.
I can only imagine you
ripping scraps from my clothes,
tearing bits from the sheets to all your lovers’ beds,
shredding all your letters,
weaving it all into a fabric of memories,
a warm nest for you spend nights dreaming in.
I never hesitate letting you have these pieces of me.
I can’t help but watch you molt
as you dream of your wild flight.
After Bucky Sinister
there she was,
watching the trains
in all their lumbering stutter,
all half-head-shaven & cut-shirt-stud-jacket.
“i love you”
came out of my throat
like unmentionables from a purse,
spilling onto a subway car floor.
she starts every day
as the brightest afternoon in January,
managing to be shining crisp stillness
amid soaked gusts of Winter.
She stirs from a rickety throne-room
and gathers her infinite summer,
the sun rising
as she paints herself royal.
when my Kentucky sour mash sweat
mixed with the March mud
her clutched fist stretched out my hoodie
as she pulled me up.
optimism left my blood last Autumn,
replaced by a calloused caution.
but when I see her crying and apart,
in a Midwest living room
disappearing into the folds of couches,
all I want to tell her is how much better life will get.