What I Wished For the Summer // Of Jazz Heavens: A Contrapuntal Poem

this year, give me something to believe in
soaring sunwars, give me the promise of
nana’s penumbra shadowing a place for me,
shaped space for me
melanin allowed to darken & beach days
returning me to before i disliked my singing.
hot-sauce seasoned scat-scored tunes,
the whole girl coming out of the darkening
the moonshine every matriarch deserves and
throat starbursting with love
that draws ligature-like lines

super flower blood moon as my celestial sky twin,
my grandfather sun-charioting right into town &
showing me where to stand, holding a miles davis
hit record: i’m sounding like the smooth jazz i listened to, like
gone too soon, like what poppa played on the way to school, this
voice, silently saying i love you i love you i love you with
enough promise to power the black hole at the center of everything
to make up for the constellations i didn’t map sooner, for
“didn’t live to see,”
connecting the nebulous family cosmology to me & and my longing
& the galaxy not yet knit that i’ll birth from my hands in poioumenon.

—Yasmine Bolden (Ice Lolly Review)