Oft-aloft by Terrell Jamal Terry
The table holds a lilac bowl to locate a past buried. Give me the viridian river of warm towels. Crack the bruised wooden chest for clues. Letters leave gifts of entrance: dream compasses in ink carrying weight, uncoiling history, tense by tense—a distant reach. Trace echoes and shadows, step aside from stuck pedestrian stances, and write line after aging line into the dark neck of evenings, until softly raised to the widening lights of silent stars. Your breaths during brief sleep blew dead skin everywhere, as you woke before breakfast to walk off self-preservation. You take the shortcut during an evening of tepid tossed rain and unknowable sky. But there’s no code for this code. So don’t count these days down, but recall when you would not take good care of yourself. Feel the fangs of the 10am train without wondering if, which should never be wondered.
Terrell Jamal Terry’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Literary Review, West Branch, Washington Square Review, Green Mountains Review, The Volta, Crab Orchard Review, Gargoyle, and elsewhere. His first collection, Aroma Truce, is forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press in 2017.