Issue 24 / Winter 2021 / Special Issue: Pleasure
a mother moans the night is warm
moonlight shadows the roses a familiar lean
what has she lost? a son?
scarce as any summer night’s answer
the emptying of his bedroom is proof:
fingerprints fade, black socks un-ball, drawing paper
a vacant cloud
set for 3
and who is responsible?
the air tonight is/not/enough
a fist grows tight in her throat
as her son last said amen or tried
a familiar scene
of shadows to bid coverage
he was ours
the city cried harmony
left to rot
against melting stone
who captures the brusque weight of words?
from those mourning lips
is screaming now
the night is hot
moonlight shadows the roses leaning
what did she lose, again? a son.
scarce as any summer night’s memory
so, who is responsible?
there is a swell of silent horror the boy joins
to say goodnight
a bent head
a thread of fingers
eyes pressed closed
does/did his body have meaning to you?
oh Lord drowning/deep/in/throats
against lips savoring
what has birthed and died
but who is responsible?
the mother’s eyes are swollen now
and the night has not cooled
and there is no reprieve.
simóne j banks (she/her) is a 3rd year MFA creative writing student at Louisiana State University currently writing her first hybrid book of poetry. Her writing focuses on ancestral threads of trauma, womanhood, family and love.