​​Siaara Freeman

In Attempts to Bring You Back

I found the last thing you ate & saved it. Idc.
Idc. Idc. Even when the flies came, I simply
introduced myself to the rot. We sat there

for hours reminiscing about being something sweet
in this war left to spoil, we sang Suga
On The Flo
pretending we could not smell one another

out of kindness. I begged it to become you.
It begged me to finish it. We both eventually
gave up; it went to the trash and I went to college

like we discussed in our last conversation. Then I quit
school like seven times to see if that would make you mad enough
to return. You didn’t. Resentment swayed through, so I drowned her

and demanded this be seen as sacrifice. Then I became a candle.
Then I melted. Then I waited for you some more. Then I began
thinking my plan was better than God’s,

then I realized I had been begging God to be a god,
and thus i had to beg God to forgive me for asking. I thought
about having a child, naming it after you. Then I realized that child!10!!10!!10!!10!!10!!10!!10!!10!!10!!10!!10!!10!!10!!10!!10!!10!!10!!10!!10!!10!!10!!10!!10!!10!!10!

would never know its namesake & that it’s not fair
to want someone just because you want someone else. Instead
I named other things for you: seasons with the most holidays,

the sky’s face seven seconds before or after
it hails, the sound a heart hears when it is half returned, the first time I won a fight, anytime I lose
anything. The smell a bullet leaves

on a person – even when they aren’t the target. I drew a circle
in the middle of the last block you walked. I summoned
a banshee & I maintained eye contact.

I needed to know why I wasn’t warned. I offered. I threatened.
I bargained & the banshee wasn’t even surprised to see me there.
I am the talk of the afterlife after all, a joke

the myths tell: silly human who imagines
she has something the darkness has not seen before.

​​Siaara Freeman is from Cleveland Ohio, where she is the current Lake Erie Siren & a teaching artist for Center For Arts Inspired Learning and The Westside Community Sisterhood Project in conjunction with the Anisfieldwolf Foundation. She is a 2022 Catapult fellow with Cleveland Public Theater. In 2021 she filmed a commercial for the Cleveland Museum of Art & participated with #teamyellowbrickroad for the Black Joy Experience. She is a 2021 Premier Playwright fellow recipient with Cleveland Public theater. She is a 2020 WateringHole Manuscript fellow, a 2018 winter tangerine chapbook fellow and a 2018 Poetry Foundation incubator fellow. Her work appears in, The Offing, BOAAT, Tinderbox, Josephine Quarterly and elsewhere. She has toured both nationally and internationally. She is the co-founder of Outsiders Queer Midwest Writers Retreat. A two time pushcart prize nominee, chances are she's by a lake, thinking about Toni Morrison and talking to ghosts. In her spare time she is growing her afro so tall God can use it for a microphone and speak through her. Her first full length manuscript, Urbanshee is available for pre-order with Button Poetry.