“Anthracite” – Saeed Jones

A voice mistook for stone,
jagged black fist

thrown miles through space, through
doors of dark matter.

Heard you crack open the field’s skull
where you landed.

Halo of smoke ruined the sky
and you were a body now

naked and bruised in the cratered cotton.
Could have been a meteorite

except for those strip-mined eyes, each
a point of fossilized night.

Bringing water and a blanket,
I asked, “Which of your lives is this,

third or fifth?” Your answer, blues
a breeze to soak my clothes

in tears. With my palm pressed
to your lips, hush. When they hear

you, they will want you. Beware
of how they want you;

in this town everything born black
also burns.
 

From Prelude to Bruise. Copyright © 2014 Saeed Jones.

“Closet of Red” – Saeed Jones

In place of no, my leaking mouth spills foxgloves.
Trumpets of tongued blossoms litter the locked closet.
Up to my ankles in petals, the hanged gowns close in,
mother multiplied, more–there’re always more
corseted ghosts, red-silk bodies crowd
my mouth. I would say no, please;
I would say sorry, Papa; I would never
ask for mother again, but dresses dressed
in dresses are dresses that own this garnet dark,
this mouth. These hands can’t find
the walls, only more mothers
emptied out.

From Prelude to Bruise. Copyright © 2014 Saeed Jones.