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  • Jalayna Walton

Two Poems

Pain Poem

Bodies | turn against owners | everyday B.

Wombs | wound themselves | spit out blood | when they can

push and pull themselves | trying to shiver off disappointment | over things that never happened

Womb | crawling over itself | to eject what is now | foreign and trespassing.

It’s hard not to think | that it was made for these things

for spitting and spilling | for heaving and leaking.

In due time | nine months or one.

This is not a love poem | I think to myself | as I place a bag of hot kernels | over my pain

just to get through the day.



I got dreams like asphalt. Like so easy to slip into. Like so quick to lock up. Like before I know it I’m stuck in em. Dreams like stargazing. Like I could look for them every night and not realize until years later all the time I’ve spent on just looking. Dreams like mortar. Like things going in and coming out all not what they were [unrecognizable]. Dreams like leashes. Like keeping me tied to the things that I love but like trying to break loose every once in awhile. Like trying to leave real quick and be grass and be water and be earth and sand before I gotta be me again on a leash. Like I can’t be trusted to be me off a leash. Like they don’t want the me I am off the leash. Like I fit just fine on it. I got dreams like being off a leash.


I got dreams like being a warm place. Being fuzzy, and fluid. Like being cashmere all the time. Dreams like one day I won’t need ginger on everything. Like supplemental strength. Like how I hang garlic from my teeth, to keep safe in the dark. Dreams like one day the sugar won’t burn. Like I won’t have to pay for honey. Like I can stop being this wet with resentment.

Born and raised in St. Louis, MO, Jalayna Walton studied literature in undergrad and journalism in grad school. Since graduating from college she has worked for several nonprofits and as a graduate research assistant, mostly developing web copy, managing social media channels and at one point mentoring youth on developing voice in their writing. Now she manages and executes a running series on families that overcome extreme poverty and disadvantage through homeownership for Habitat for Humanity - Seattle King County. She works there as a Community Engagement Specialist and writes poetry on the side. She hopes to someday publish a chapbook and develop a career in nonprofit communications for vulnerable communities.

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