I am sick of courage. I grit my teeth into diamonds. You a good father, making me spit sawdust like a working thing and all/ feminism of the plow and sweat. I erode my eyes against your absence of mercy. You raised your girl right. Granite enough to chisel into like renewable resource. I ain’t never runnin out on you, Pops. The same way every Cadillac gon have gas till the end of time. Whatever I gotta tell you to get your eyes to flutter somewhere Georgia summer soft, sometime before you forged your God into an unlocked handcuff dangling at your wrist like the trust of a girlchild. I’m the youngest of your mistakes. Which is to say I have not had time to heal away my being. I am a scar ready to peel off the mystery of its face. I’m erasing my body until all that is left is a handful of chipped teeth. I invent a new word for gone every time we lock eyes. Teach me the ease of cowardice. I do not know if the grass is greener on the other side, but I know the ground here is tired of conjuring fruit from barren blood. This is the story I guess: a man the shade of lumbered and labored oak claims the night as his overcoat. Every star implodes in his synapses. Cuz back in the day, children used to respect they parent’s trauma. They was seen and not swallowed. And they knew better than to come home after certain darks.
Imani Davis is a student of many things, most often her Blackness. She’s currently studying at the University of Pennsylvania. Her poetry has settled down with Rookie Magazine, Brain Mill Press, and other homes. She was also awarded a Silver National Medal from the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers. She is a member of Urban Word NYC’s Slam Team. Her life is grounded in “despite” and New York. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.