And we have lift off! The pre-sale for my first chapbook, Thick-Skinned Sugar, published by Finishing Line Press, begins November 11th and runs through January 9th. I’ll be sure to share the link to purchase as soon as I have it. *Please by my book, please!*
Here’s a poem from the chapbook. I was going to share the link to the online journal it was originally published in, but alas, that journal has closed its doors. Prayer for My Fiancé before His Bachelor Party is a poem I wrote towards the end of graduate school right before I got married. It was published on Splinter in 2009 (I think). That fiancé has been my husband for five years now! Unfortunately if I was writing this poem today, there’d be more/other examples besides Sean Bell and Amadou Diallou.
I really dug Splinter Generation, it was “a place by and for people born between 1973 and 1993.” I hope it comes back! Or at least they bring the archives back, there was some good and important writing there, would be a shame to lose the collective work from the interwebs forever. Hey, Splinter, are you listening?
Prayer for My Fiancé before His Bachelor Party
Our Father, who art in Heaven,
However he be: drunk, sober, slipping strippers dollar bills, belligerent with a large group of men who look like him, I pray the Lord his soul to keep.
Deliver him from the shape-shifting gene that lies in all Black men. Let him remain bald, dark, and 6’ 3”. Lead him not toward the ability to stretch taller, shrink shorter, glamour his skin lighter, or insta-grow a full head of dreads.
Lord, I pray that his soap opera evil twin does no wrong tonight.
Please keep him from being Belled, from being felled by police guns moving faster than axes to chop down dark and scary forests and make newspapers of him.
And lead him not to be Dialloed, black wallet in his back pocket is not made of morph-leather; it does not become a gun. Though he forms make-believe guns with his pointer finger and thumb, please shine a little light on the police so that they see his hands, just hands.
O Lord, save him from brown-skinned concrete cannibals, shape shifters who, at night, blend with the cement they stand on, harden like stone. Save him from their thirst for their own kind.
This Lord I seek: Please let him fit the description of a president and have a police escort home so that we can dwell in our home all the days of our life together.
© LaToya Jordan