The Closet by featured artist Jamila Clarke


      The only place I loved in that school—
      made of algorithms, locker rooms,
      florescent lights and white men’s
      history, bulimia and cage desks—
      was the darkroom.

      My first time inside I was awoken
      by its red, the shade a flashlight made
      pressed against my own fleshy hand.

      I wanted to take off
      my clothes in that darkroom, for someone
      to lift me onto the counter, cover
      my mouth and enter my still-developing body.

      For a boy to hold
      my self-portrait in the chemical bath
      until every flaw and freckle

      For him to say it’s beautiful
      before laying the photo down
      into the stop bath.

      For me
      to say it is.
      I am.
      I know.


Megan Falley

Megan Falley is a full-time writer, performer, and a two-time winner of the Write Bloody Open Book Competition. Her first full-length collection of poetry After the Witch Hunt was published in 2012. Her forthcoming collection Redhead and the Slaughter King is slated for publication in Fall 2014. Falley was featured on TV One’s Verses & Flow, a television show dedicated to showcasing the best in spoken word. In 2012, she represented NYC at the National Poetry Slam as part of the LouderArts Team. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Rattling Wall, TheUncommon Core, and a party of online journals. Falley teaches an online poetry course called “Poems That Don’t Suck,” dedicated to improving the craft of aspiring writers. In 2012, she toured the US and Canada for 100 days in her car, reading poems. She lives in Brooklyn with a dog named Taco. Visit her online at