Back to Issue Twenty-Six.

i was getting out of your way



in memoriam, Sandra Bland

Just picked petunias sweetkiss my knuckles
Creating a genre of springtime. I succumb

To the urge to sing: what gift this small refuge
In my palm; the soft city wind, a lodestar.

Sudden rain catches me and I cinch
Like a ball of rubberbands, a noose thirsty

For air—then run, past an idle siren
Posing as a red vase: an empty vessel

Looking to transform whatever beauty.
It sees, in the skyline of my figure:

A smoking star; a token for what
Can bend or be taken, but breaks.

It determines, like a light turning green
That a wilderness    resides in me


zakia henderson-brown is the author of What Kind of Omen Am I, winner of the 2017 Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship, selected by Cate Marvin. She is a Cave Canem Graduate Fellow and a 2016 Poets House Emerging Poets Fellow, and has received additional fellowships and support from the Fine Arts Work Center, Callaloo, and Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Her poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from African American Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Little Patuxent Review, North American Review, the Offing, Vinyl, Washington Square Review, and others. She currently serves as associate editor at the nonprofit publisher the New Press, and lives in her native Brooklyn.

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