Read the introduction by guest editor Diane Seuss.
You will not surely die
then pulled her corpse up to smoke a cigarette
in an ambulance. At the funeral, I suspected
under white under red like minstrelsy. The hand’s claws
obscured her, though the truth was plain. This body
reached a finger behind his sunglasses and
back to his seat. Aunt Kim climbed in the coffin,
with which we performed, the after party
You should have seen it, our mockery
as if our devotion could coax
Everything is smoke, Solomon says
in Ecclesiastes when trying to understand the meaning of meaning all is smoke that’s all he could come up with despite being the wisest man to ever live though I dispute this since my grandma discovered the same with an unreliable mind she too talked to a man she could not see promised him half a corned beef sandwich and a pack of cigarette butts if he took her to cash her next Social Security check he said he’d come right now if she threw in a Faygo cola to which she said okay she grabbed her wig and winter coat and sat on the front porch where she waited for the man to appear in his bumbling van she sat there with check in hand cigarette rolling along her gums she puffed smoke in her eyes and scanned the sun-soaked street waiting for the unseen’s solid expanse to arrive
I’ve walked many miles in wrong belief
in a village where galaxies blinked
He knew no English, but listened to country music
bleeding chicken from kids
In the morning, I walked into town and met a boy
Stop. Of course I’m romanticizing this boy
What else did you expect from me?
herded goats like David. Beneath me, in the distance,
I studied the road, its length, and my eyes watered.
Justin Danzy is a Chancellor’s Fellow at Washington University in St. Louis where he is completing his MFA. He has work forthcoming in Guesthouse and The New Guard Review. Danzy is from Southfield, Michigan.