to Kimberly, as you were

after Eve L. Ewing, after Warsan Shire

in this dream, we never learn the bullet’s name.
i let you control the radio.
every song is a birthing ballad and you are not dead.
in this dream, the canaries have hearts
shaped like pink amaryllis outside of their chests.
you want to touch the wings of the thing,
hold them in your hand like some miraculous metal.
in this dream, there are only autumns
and you are not ticking towards some man’s homegrown rage.
in this dream, we are washed in jasmine and juniper
and the stardust returns to your smile.
and the freckles return to your face.
before the nightclub, you stand staring at yourself in the mirror
drenched in dream-smoke, a fishbowl of lavender.
you trace the length of your collarbone.

call it a synonym for song.

you trace the length of your collarbone,
drenched in dream. smoke a fishbowl of lavender.
before the nightclub, you stand staring at yourself in the mirror
and the freckles return to your face.
and the stardust returns to your smile.
in this dream, we are washed in jasmine and juniper
and you are not ticking towards some man’s homegrown rage.
in this dream, there are only autumns:
hold them in your hand like some miraculous metal.
you want to touch the wings of the thing
shaped like pink amaryllis outside of their chests.
in this dream, the canaries have hearts.
every song is a birthing ballad and you are not dead.
i let you control the radio.
in this dream, we never learn the bullet’s name.

m mick powell is a queer black femme feminist, poet, and professor. Her poems and essays have been published or are forthcoming in Winter Tangerine, The Feminist Wire, Apogee Journal, Nat. Brut, and others. Mick’s chapbook, chronicle the body, won Yemassee Journal‘s second annual chapbook contest and was released in March 2019. She enjoys talking about beauty, bodies, Beyonce, and baked goods.