Adrift by featured artist Jamila Clarke
The devil was never in the details.
He was in your nails, your skin, your hair—
locks as thick as craft ribbons,
oil-slicked black diamond waves
made for gold-plated lockets
of flint-faced lovers.
We had a Red October once.
When all our moods were colored
by jealousy and the walls
were target practice.
We fired off the plates
waiting in the china cabinet
and I was the bloody ghost
of Anne Boleyn thirsty
for Henry’s head.
Even now I find strands of your hair
in my bathroom sink hiding
behind dressers clamped between
the ragged teeth of wooden drawers,
reminders of late nights and fast life,
crackled conversation and lungs
that burst open like stitched-up gills—
when the words tasted like metal
and blood rolling around
in our mouths. I would bite
my tongue so I could talk
with my hands
that bred dead mementos,
casted off like fallen soldiers
in foreign snow that I will mourn
inside every one of my mornings.