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Scene 9/

closing my eyes makes
forgiving you seem light
as a house without wallpaper
or a hive missing half a bee
sex with you was the rag diving
into the dishwater to do
it’s job; remake a dirty thing
clean with moist fingers wrinkled
to the gnawed nail bent bone
believe it or not i tried, died
almost twice and you merely blinked
as though a piece of light had passed
a spot on a ladybug’s back
i cried crows awake and you
told the hush snuff it out
the air
we shared
dozing eyes awake
forgiving after fights
passed grins through shower vapor
for us to find the ugly
brakeshoes broke too
pit stops prolonged the sting
greens soured in the sink
grass browned to black gas
a spot on a ladybug’s back
i denied the ghosts parades in you
told my gut to find a translucent shout
the air
the air
we once rode the air
one August three summers ago


Photography by Sydney A Foster

W.J. Lofton is a Black, Queer, Southern, American poet. He is the author of A Garden for Black Boys Between the Stages of Soil and Stardust and the forthcoming memoir, Sue City set to be published by Beacon Press, 2024. Lofton’s work has been featured widely including TIME Magazine, Scalawag Magazine, Meniscus Literary Journal, Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, Connotation Press, Sundance, NPR, Al Jazeera, Urbanworld Film Festival, and the BlackHarvest Film Festival. He calls Atlanta, GA home.

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