We are the measure and the measured Time, I'm saying We waste and want more In that aching that is ours to plow through No one says whole No one says time Heals and if they do, If they do: Necessary lies My father built houses all his life For others to call a home While we froze in winter Wandered fields behind the section 8 Complex Taught each other the long game of body burning Brighter than future's not ours Boys who died from too much Or not enough Girls who birthed their fathers And braided ladders in their mind To the moon These ungodly creatures From whom time took Everything in sight But in the barn one night Clara pointed To the sky and said "just like that, It's how I want to be," Never mind that everyone broke us Never mind the light that fell Across us scattered birds Like everything else Just out of reach Because I remember holy was Holy were Don't ever think we came here wasted Time, We came here hungry We ate the night We were beautiful We wanted more We were at the altar But never on our knees Circling the barn We talked our futures bigger than possible We talked our lives with our mouths on fire We kept each other warm Kept each other circling Higher and higher The freeway humming Hope: We ate the damn thing whole.
James Diaz (They/Them) is the author of This Someone I Call Stranger (Indolent Books, 2018), All Things Beautiful Are Bent (Alien Buddha, 2021), and the forthcoming Motel Prayers (Alien Buddha, 2022). Founding editor of Anti-Heroin Chic, their work has appeared or is forthcoming in Thrush Poetry Journal, Corporeal, The Madrigal, Wrongdoing Magazine, The Lumiere Review, Resurrection mag, and Apricity. They reside in upstate New York.
Guest Editor Latorial Faison has authored 15 books, including Mother to Son and the trilogy collection, 28 Days of Poetry Celebrating Black History. A graduate of UVA and VA TECH, she recently, completed doctoral studies at Virginia State University and published The Missed Education of the Negro: An Examination of the Black Segregated Education Experience in Southampton County. This Furious Flower Poetry Center fellow, Pushcart nominee, and Tom Howard Poetry Prize winner has been published in Artemis Journal, West Trestle Review, Obsidian: Literature and Art in the African Diaspora, PRAIRIE SCHOONER, and elsewhere. Forthcoming work, Mama Was a Negro Spiritual, was a semi-finalist for The CAVE CANEM POETRY PRIZE. Faison is married, has three sons, and teaches at Virginia State University.