For Gaza, for Ferguson
Back behind the barricades
they’re saying what the looting means.
Call it full-stop mercenary. Manholes
steam. Fortune for the one who finds me
opened like a can of combustion, thrown down
for the last time at a stoplight where it goes
like this; future nixed behind the station, soda cans
and broken bats, my heart on ice this time.
You’ve seen my necklace;
it is mine and just to die for in a yard
beside the candy store, my longest finger
ticking off the sounds of heat.
ELEGY FOR THE WOMEN
Let us not pretend the sky
Is always plaited with beauty,
Even the gods are not too perfect.
Like Staten Island, the sky
Of Ferguson is clouded
With police uniforms;
Like Garner, teenage Brown
Is swallowed by a cop’s fingers.
A schoolboy’s body
Empty like a soda can
Is found at the doorway
Of his grandmother’s house.
All the women in his life gather
Around what the police’s anger
Has left of him; each calling
His name, as though death
Is a disease noise could cure.
Each calling his name,
Their hearts driven
like clothes on a line in wind;
Lord, is this what it takes to be a woman?
NANCY BEVILAQUA attended Reed College and the NYU M.A. Program in English/Creative Writing (Poetry). She has worked as a case manager/counselor in New York City for people with AIDS, the homeless, etc., and as a freelance travel writer. Her poems have been published in or accepted for future publication by Atticus Review, Kentucky Review, Menacing Hedge, Construction, Hubbub, Houseboat, and others. She is the author of Holding Breath: A Memoir of AIDS’ Wildfire Days, and will be publishing a poetry chapbook entitled Gospel within the year. She now lives in Florida with her 15-year-old son, Alessandro.
D.M. ADERIBIGBE is a proud native of Nigeria. He graduates in 2014 with an undergraduate degree in History and Strategic Studies from the University of Lagos. His work appears in Poet Lore, Asheville Poetry Review, Hotel Amerika, RHINO, Grist, B O D Y, Vinyl and elsewhere. He currently lives in Lagos, Nigeria where he is working on his first book of poems, My Mothers’ Songs and Other Similar Songs I Learnt.
Photo credits: Top: Al Jazeera English / Creative Commons; Middle: Creative Commons