taylor alyson lewis


three years



Through the bars of my rented balcony,

Atlanta seems painted small and ephemeral.

Masticated gum and cotton-candy-blush children stride

skirting smoldering rubber on asphalt-

black and bleeding with rainwater.


I fear that any notion of home has no place in a

city of manipulated steel and dying heroes.

The spaces I called my sanctuaries,

places I have been deferred or devoutly deviant-

suddenly stood emptied by my own rejection of them.

Perhaps I was not built for meaning.

Perhaps I was not built at all, but sprang up from red clay soil,

Strung like a bow, the arrow of my desire.


I could one day plunge to the bottom of this world

and find soft-skinned purchase in wet gravel.

Peel my frozen face from the concrete and see red.

Press my cheek against the dirt,

hear the footsteps of dreamers,

maybe dream myself.



You ever been so damn soft you melted

Through the cracks of the sidewalk like butter?

Remembered the brownness of her hand

on the small of your neck? You ever loved

so damn deeply that the moon was jealous and

stalked your sleeping black bodies, searching

for fire? In love, I have felt everything;

I would thank her that gifted me empathy.

I have never been so naked—I have

never felt the wind and the sun, as now.

Her name behind my teeth, a prayer for grace.

Her body absorbed by the ocean’s floor.

Yet my young soul stands alone, bidding

for hers to join in my awakening.



an experiment of living

the vacuum dragged across the chipped floor

my first time cooking for someone

other than my open mouth

(besides my mama)

a softness of breath

a kept promise

the spring equinox

manifested in smoke

the small ridiculous creature

we call our child

her brown eyes tracking the movements

of our connected bodies—

the salt and steam of commitment

your naked selflessness

enrobed in cotton

the cinnamon/chocolate brown of our nipples

taut against the cold

the high blue windows

the balcony

the morning paranoia of forgetfulness

the screaming and

the water and

our eyes

the brown beef broth of routine

a chaste kiss at a traffic light


i love you over the phone

i love you in the car

i love you through the blooming green arch

and beyond it