Rigorous
Volume Three, Issue 4



Turnstiles

Michal "MJ" Jones


When I came here / lifted from mother’s / abdomen like soil
I had enough lives / stockpiled to know / there is nothing to
the myth / getting it right / no matter how / many rotations we
spin and spin / til we’re sick dizzy / son & I / In centripetal orbit,
fleshy upright turnstiles / we scream a laughter / into ether like
prayer already answered / He’s exhausted bones / by nautical
twilight I gaze / between crib bars / brown skin / in deepening dusk
crest & trough / his dulcet breath / Oceans tide my looking / Perfection
my sins may deface / At star-rise ceremony / in blackness / I lift him
soft swift certain / of an un-caging / in my chest. Lay him / out just
a moment for apex / of breath / hummingbird heart / thrumming
against my life line / I could weep / at my own / capacity to hurt him &
hurt him again / Be the reason / He therapies / But for now I kiss
sweet sternum / massage soft tendrils / sprung from scalp
Stare into  ceaseless /           forgiving night.



Michal "MJ" Jones: "I am a Black queer, and non-binary poet and activist living in Oakland, California. A curious interdisciplinary writer of essay, poetry and fiction, my work has been featured at Foglifter Press, Everyday Feminism, Black Girl Dangerous, The Body Is Not An Apology, and Wear Your Voice Magazine. I am the recipient of fellowships from the Hurston/Wright Foundation (2019), the Writers Grotto (2019), VONA - Voices of Our Nations (2018), and Kearny Street Workshop's Interdisciplinary Writers Lab (2017 & 2018)."




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