Terrell Jamal Terry

Even the Tables Bled

If you come to me I’ll give up.
I’ll paint the lilacs on your hips.

I’m not good anymore, & he knows
You’re in a room wiping down the sex,

Washing away what most deny.
You told me what it was & not we.

As if immune to grief,
I rarely tell—the middle stream

Of extremity & less surprise.
I wasn’t so fractured that I’d talk

To strangers & spew fire.
I wanted peace & clarity & whatever

Without being deceased.
I craved a safe cloud,

A bright brook flowing blue,
Adobe brick aged red.

I trusted dried mud on boots.
I trusted the conditions for change.

I have no story.
In meters of pleasure

& the stale mundane,
I still don’t believe in the news,

& I could never concede
That any of us is happening.

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.