My unborn son, I must teach you to die
just as I have been taught.
I must teach you Death’s lines,
the shades and hues it carries,
how it stretches on walls,
a contortionist of pastels.
My death with your mother was a fever,
our conjoined hearts always bleeding.
She knew of dying, caught it
on the reflection of canvas.
Stone belonged to me.
This earth was hers.
I buried your mother in a mural
her toes the olivine of a forest,
a revolution of rose under her back,
the long, black crow over her eyes,
its plume widespread. It was then
that I knew I was ending.
La Catrina sings herself a skin tonight.
Long dresses hide her feet. She will ask
me to dance and I will succumb again.
I am a man. I control nothing in this world.
Ready the emerald tie for my neck.
My son, I trade air for thorns.
Jordan E. Franklin
Jordan E. Franklin is a poet from Brooklyn, NY. An alum of Brooklyn College, she recently earned her MFA from Stony Brook Southampton where she served as a Turner Fellow. Her work has appeared in the Southampton Review, Suffragette City Zine, Breadcrumbs, easy paradise and acorn & iris. In 2017, her work “Black Boy” was selected by Major Jackson as the winning poem of the James Hearst Poetry Prize hosted by the North American Review.
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