By Dr. Niama L. J. Williams

i didn’t confess
what i knew about
duplexes.

the faint memory of the owner
past her prime
back house
beautiful daughter minorly in love
my half-brother disdained her
preferred the fine-ass divorcee in the front house.

no clear understanding of pheromes at that age
i worked to bury the memory
of exploratory doctor with the boy i did not like
who preceded them.

a similar anguish in your lines
a screaming of pain
the boy seafarer’s moan
in Sting’s The Soul Cages.

he and i both seek fathers
committed elsewhere.

and while you present love
bonding
acceptance and joy
in a poem we misinterpret
i look everywhere to reproduce the taste of love
in Nana’s four-layered devil’s food every birthday
in pots upon pots of pinto beans
with the bitter sweetness of maple syrup

no child’s suffering is fair
poverty and want dog the skirts
of pretty girls, poets,
and yes
pretty girl poet blondes

but only the brilliant ones learn to scream
a scream that is what the irish call keening
an utterance of the body
the viscera
awakening in your black sister
recognition resonance doubt

the adults around us never knew
the vast darknesses we swirled within
and called
by our name for it:
“home.”

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One comment

  1. I am honored to be here, Sarah, and to engage with the stellar work coming from the pens of you, Danielle, Alejandro ….. the Poetry Lab is the place to be!!!!! 🙂

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