By Shayla Lawson
From Fall 2017
Sierra Leone. How often I think of her pink skies—The cut & stench of her vacant clitoris close to the burning of her father’s hair melting into dust as she watches soldiers light & impale him. She wreaks of menarche; opens anew every time she bleeds. Daddy’s little girl: baby no longer. Sierra Leone she’s been alone alone alone she’s been a-lonely. This incision meant to keep her whole only leaves her empty. A new country in which she refugees; baby (stanza break) girl on her hip I lift from the weight of her. The baby gums my covered nipple & I hug & I pray this is the only way this girl will ever be touched. Sometimes I look in the sky & think God has abandoned us. The sunset first evidence he has cleared out & left. No I don’t live in Denver. I live in verse & verse & scripture & Leone cradling her infant like a blood- red meridian (like a flood).