Terrell Jamal Terry

Phantom S.

Look around for the side effects.

Study the ways in which we work.

I told myself to take the secrets & keep them alive.

I had a tiny feud with fear.

You were clutching a cherry-brown cello.

I still daydream, wanting what I don’t know.

I couldn’t honestly love you because I was guilty of envy.

I’ve been nearly numb—a manufactured sense of loss.

I was examining the calligraphy of emotion.

I vanished & brewed some music with paper flames.

Stars lit the room.

It was dark when I scurried back to the well.

I opened a lean book & gently let myself enjoy it.

I dared to stop abusing the raw kindness of another.

Terrell Jamal Terry is the author of the poetry collection Aroma Truce, forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press in 2017. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Literary Review, Green Mountains Review, West Branch, Bettering American Poetry 2015, Columbia Poetry Review, Guernica, The Volta, and elsewhere. He resides in Pittsburgh, PA.