a good thing/found

By brittny ray crowell

 

         prepare yourself 
         for entry

prime yourself to be stripped
         like something ripe 
and swaddled in soft velvet
never mind how the skin feels

peeling
         the body will yield 
remember you are claimed for 

this plucking    
         open yourself 
         make way for whatever may bloom

you are ground 
you are soil
you are earth

that makes men’s hands
         black from hard work 
you are fostered

         by roots/fortified by bone 
and the filth of dying
never mind the blood 
         left behind
yield to me/something new

prepare yourself for planting
take what you are given and shit
         for me a diamond/splinter

yourself into a head of white petals/i want to see 
         the flowers crowning
i want to see/your lips
         splayed like an orchid’s skull

give me something 
to admire/give me something  
         i can name/after

the way/a body 
          splits/like the edges
of a maple leaf rotting/give me something

my love/can suture 
         give me some
thing i can claim 

 

brittny ray crowell is a native of Texarkana, Texas. She is the recipient of a Donald Barthelme Prize in Poetry and The Lucy Terry Prince Prize, judged by Major Jackson. Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in Ploughshares, Frontier, The West Review, Mount Island, Aunt Chloe, Copper Nickel, The Journal, and the anthology Black Lives Have Always Mattered. She is a teaching assistant and PhD candidate in creative writing and literature at the University of Houston and a poetry editor for Gulf Coast.

[Purchase Issue 22 here.]

a good thing/found

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