Dani Janae

With each syllable, becoming the last
of itself, unfurled like a promise, like
a carpet holding your pale feet: roses
in line with the dirge of sky. Let me

knock on the door in its blue, open
it to reveal an unbracketed gray
more sky than an eye can hold
like death is more time than the body

can carry. Whether the spirit leans
north or south, or is beyond human
direction, I will find it and pin your
name to the chest. Whether the spirit

becomes a tree dangling flower or fruit
above my head, I promise to take
either into my mouth, cull the sap
and sugar to form an alphabet

known to the two of us. Like a tendon
arching from forearm to finger,
I will know you. The swell of a name
as it marbles on the tongue.

Dani Janae is a poet living and writing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She earned her BA in Creative Writing from Allegheny College. Her poetry deals with the physical and emotional legacy of trauma and addiction, and the intersecting history of her identity as a black, lesbian, woman through themes of the grotesque and horror. Her work has been published by Argot Magazine, Palette Poetry, Pittsburgh Poetry Journal, and Slush Pile Magazine. She is a contributing writer at Autostraddle.

Follow at:

Instagram: @bell.biv.dahoe
Twitter: @figwidow

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