EULOGY

           If we are gonna heal, let it be glorious.—Warsan Shire

This
           is the body
that
           broke the Black woman’s back.
There
           is silence clogging up the peace
that
           resides between shattered tambourines.
Here
           Lies “I love Jesus” barrettes and wooden beads,
that
           fell through her fingers like dirt tossed on a small, pink casket.
From
           Earth’s pulse,
where
           she was raised,
to
           Earth’s pockets,
where
           the groundwater chipped at the leaves curling
into
           Princess Tiana’s gown.
From
           ashes of scorches stars and bars,
where
           sulfur rises like dirty chuck taylor hi tops,
to
           ashes of burgundy church bricks,
out
           the basement stairs.
From
           dust dancing in hurricane winds,
where
           it rolls off of the countryside and concrete jungles,
to
           dust gathering in every tear that will never be shed.

 

TOO MUCH LICORICE AFTER DARK

           after Wendy Xu

The first time your tongue formed
the word dusk, it got tied beneath
the streetlight. You stuttered
the word the five times, and draped
Dali’s clocks on your shoulder blades like
a welcome mat that hates to say goodbye.
And when the world insisted the sun fell
before the streetlights came on, you
were absolutely positively fucking
smitten. The molar marks on your
tongue screamed infatuation,
filling up with floodwater, mucking
up all hope to hear your words with clarity.
Cowering from shadows into promises,
waiting for dawn to echo legitimate
light, an abrasive pale yellow
clearing out pools of sunset gold.


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TYRA JAMISON is speaking from the intersections of Black, woman, young, artist, student. She's Pittsburgh-born, and Hill District-raised. This is what informs the lyricism in her poetry and the speculation in her fiction. Her poetry has appeared (or will be forthcoming) in The Underground Pool, Whirlwind Magazine, and These Black Midwives’ inaugural publication. Her writing has also appeared in the 9th Issue of APIARY Magazine. Currently, she’s pursuing her Creative Writing BFA at University of the Arts.