by dezireé a. brown




I’ve prayed your lungs

would return / to water / fat


with sand and jazbay /

while spiders / parade


those curls I once / loved

In my dreams / I am bullet-proof


but you watched / me suffocate

instead / and I learned


how silence can / contort 

the skin – / pink


scars whelved into this atlas

of longing / tattered deer’s eye /


embedded in rivers – / these

are the bruises / I’ve carried through /


the riptide / with hands / that rebuilt

cities / you plundered  


next time / my appetite

will be waiting