about the author

Terrell Jamal Terry’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Washington Square, Word Riot, West Branch, Columbia Poetry Review, Interim, dislocate, Curbside Splendor, and elsewhere. He lives in Wake Forest, NC.

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A Dusty Portrait

Terrell Jamal Terry

Lavender dress and
an appealing approach to life,
a color peeled.

In a Roman prison
a prophet sews his wings.
I don’t know his name.

Bright snow
and barely red brick

while one face traced
to memory might
mean something more

than a den with modest light,
or minor heart palpitations.

He’s wound in aberration
trapped on bright snow

and a red brick building.
But we are here now.

We go inside through the doors
of libraries and bars—lonely
by choice because we’re choosy,

living young and making room
on our plates for sweet complaints.
Today someone

steps down from the remoteness
of remote control
and they hear the preferred sound

of personal treasure. Cypresses hang
shaped like ears and wings.

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