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  • Terrell Jamal Terry

The PdS Black Voices Series Presents: TERRELL JAMAL TERRY


Mirror bark reflects time, sublimation

& chance. I recognize your space

even clinging with people.

I am standing under rain near the edge

of device & wish.

It’s alright not running in a demon suit.

I’m going in. No shades. No blade.

I know what I was thinking—

work & levitation: warm illusion.

I have disappeared for several years.

Ask someone. My rocket is orange warmth;

may an early death do us not.

I can’t guess your hunger

or match the lack of mystery of money

when I’m a stone.

Tell me to do something against habit.


Violet sleep lightly shattered.

A painted day starts two shades

too dark. There’s that crowd

of thought he will not let come

near. Parachutes should

bail down the moody sky.

Blue emits from a whispering radio

its own slowly growing balloon.

A stream of the wildest dreams:

the worn down house guarded by

dying greens & a blind woman

who stood behind

the door’s screen & said I can see you.

Can you forget how to make this

seem real? An improbable

musical shuffle is made by a school

of red ants spinning a bread crumb

on honeyed wood.

Then his heart is tilted out of chest

over the city’s tallest bridge.

That black ice door that lingers

when you have not learned the plot

of your own crackling heart—

a cold fire fading, or

a little paranoia gone a long way.


I make myself forget from the beginning—

every sense, even the name

only instinct knows. It helps

that smoke on her head is distracting.

I can’t be real, another

language left unclaimed.

I’m trying to enclose a smile,

but it’s a rippled mist of style,

brittle & late illumination.

I was sore & saved

by an avalanche of heart-rock,

wall-feet & accessories.

I was hanging on by sweet sin,

the water, a filthy miracle,

& someone screaming

keep your eyes closed. I’m going back

without intention & doing it all over,

better informed, conditioned,

or perhaps resistant to bruising.

I don’t have to be from here—

yes is a suggestion.

Everybody’s got their syndrome

& no one needs to understand why

you have to be so into it.

However, pleasure is a ghost &

lovers at peace are soft lions.

I don’t care for being called a lover.

Terrell Jamal Terry’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Crab Orchard Review, Gargoyle, Green Mountains Review, Washington Square Review, West Branch, cream city review, Columbia Poetry Review, and elsewhere.

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