TERRELL JAMAL TERRY
Citrine Ash #6 (City II)
I am loitering near the dream,
Near a lifeless yellow jacket
On a window sill.
I wash my body & the videos drain:
The lushness of green by green,
Rusted bridges, railroad tracks,
Churches built centuries ago.
I am drinking lemon water.
I think the songs.
Loneliness together in age,
Burning around rivers
Of majestic solitude,
Squatting in the graffiti
My past is a part of some truth not held.
My amalgam of (if not animal, then)
My defenses, thoughts deceived.
I’ve got to have something more
Than a story to tell.
I walked down South Side
Carrying all of my possessions,
Inside me: a storm,
A tiny block of vague light
& the slums that reside in all of us.
The wavy black hair of clouds
Came & covered the moon
Above an otherworldly city
Swarming with energy & weariness.
Citrine Ash #8 (Toboggan)
Born under a full moon—always low in the blue
Due to temperament. Few words participate.
I arrived & there were secret places to sit comfortably
& cut my complications quietly.
So I walked instead of riding the worn wave,
Allowed on the ground of paradox.
My frame is both knit cap & sled.
I am the same me that I question & trust--
I wear many hats, she implored.
Finger-smoke smudged glass.
On the fourth floor you will find a circus of attainments.
What is the correct pronunciation of this place?
On the fourth page you may find
Umbrellas, raincoats & yellow boots.
In that moment, what was your look about?
My gaze faced the heat from your eyes
Following a flood of recognition.
I wasn’t sure if I should’ve known you
Against the fragile guard of skin & fence.
Is it disingenuous to ask if you’re alright
When I don’t want to talk,
& I can only do so much caring?
I attempt to accumulate without addition.
These are pieces of information, leaving.
Fragments of a Church on Rainbow Hill
The old arts are like glowing water.
I am rewired by sweet dusky smoke
& a quick shimmering reflection.
My cup is robed in deep yellow stains.
I am shipwrecked.
I’ve been hungry & I could do it again.
A mint-green vase contains fiery flowers.
Summer orange is brighter.
The webs on the sunlit window mirror frost.
It masks what it means.
You might imagine the words I hear.
I no longer disagree with my childhood.
I believe in grace because I don’t want to--
Because I cannot comprehend living.
When I’m searching for a night album,
I need to get underneath.
This is one I used to play
When I was drinking destructively,
But I rarely really listened
With such habit & odd patience.
We mix our stories & I recognize
What I don’t understand--
I am rational & senseless.
Winter orange is quieter.
My mind isn’t true alone.
I don’t know to admit it.
The flakes of my essence speak
In every language & none.
TERRELL JAMAL TERRY is the author of Aroma Truce (Black Lawrence Press, 2017). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Literary Review, Green Mountains Review, West Branch, The Journal, Crab Orchard Review, Columbia Poetry Review, The Volta, and elsewhere. He resides in Pittsburgh, PA.