In Which Our Wants Are Worlds
by Jasmine Reid
We have a house in the suburbs & it is quiet
enough here to hear when flowers burst.
When buds open their mouths to speak. It is spring.
We have two kids & I stopped painting my nails.
We have two prescription bottles of anti-depressants
& your loneliness swallows them all one night.
We have a roof that doesn’t leak & a Saturn Vue
of mercury with squeaky brake pads.
Every time we slow down it sounds
like the car is warning. What small nag.
Want. We speed up & our backs press flat
against the seats. We speed up & want is the hum
of the engine, the street lamps blurring
past. We can’t move.
We bought a vehicle of want.
Our hearts rot oppressively in the trunk.
You tattoo an arc of I am, I am, I am.
Want under your left breast. You dye your hair
pink. You have your mother’s smile
& your father’s sense of humor. When he yells,
your lips flare & sun-scorch the walls,
radiating an attractive array of want.
I am not a good Chinese boy.
Your grandmother cries over dinner
but you say you are very, very happy.
I am eight & the boy I love lives in the attic.
I am eight & covet my sister’s flower dress.
No one tells me I can’t have the boy & the dress.
My want lives in marigold fingertips.
My want is the god of touch. My want petals
in spring & blooms all summer.
Jasmine Reid is a twice trans poet-child of flowers. A 2018 Poets House Fellow and MFA candidate at Cornell University, her work has been published or is forthcoming in Muzzle Magazine, Yemassee Journal, WUSGOOD?, and WATER. Also a finalist for the 2018 Sonia Sanchez-Langston Hughes Poetry Prize, Jasmine was born and raised in Baltimore, MD, and is currently based in Brooklyn, NY. Follow her at reidjasmine.com
For Grace, For Grave by Jasmine Reid