my older sister was born blue
my mother tells me that she was turning blue right before she finally decided to
meet the world.
apparently, she was two weeks late and yet
I imagine she probably still felt it happened too soon.
thrust onto a pale hospital bed,
white-gloved hands smacking light into her.
I am still a child when my mother starts showing me that to make a hollow space in a body
means taking pains.
there is a spot in the middle of her c-section scar where the doctor’s hand must have slipped
when sewing her up
the scar has faded to a muted brown but she tells me that the stuck stitch still tugs at her
her body folding in on itself at a single point.
I’ve been told my sister was late
but I like to think she was biding her time,
making sure she got a chance to be blue
before it meant sadness, bruises,
a naïve sky.
if she was blue, then so was my mother.
hell, so am I.
Black women never stay that way long,
lest we forget we’ve got overdue lives.
Mery Concepción (she/her) is an Afro-Caribbean writer and poet based in New York City. Her work deals with themes of embodiment, Blackness, womanhood, family, (un)becoming, and healing. She hopes her work can make space for the messiness, and beauty, of our collective survival. You can probably find her on the A train, in a messy kitchen, or curled up with a book.
Her memorial service
was the last day of summer,
everyone was handed
a loaf of bread
and a jar of kumquat jelly
as they left.
A turquoise collection
larger than New Mexico
divided between her
soon to be stored in shoeboxes
at the bottom of closets.
They smiled when we entered
in our mourning attire,
dusty worn out slip on shoes
and black pants two sizes too small
in the middle of August.
The ride home in the car with my dad
I think I killed Aunt Jodie he said
and turned on the radio.
Katherine Hightower has done nothing of importance yet but hopes to soon.
and their fragile fridays,
the right hormones working
the wrong body ::
:: each night
i worm into
my pink bedsheet
cocoon and dream
kind of faggy little monarch
amber wings snagging updraft
home; o to be hailed
and fucked and turned to smolder
Fox Auslander is a non-binary poet hailing from Southwest Philadelphia. They are a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, a temporary shut-in, and probably happy. You can find their recent work in Feral Journal, The Pennsylvania Gazette, and Mineral Literary Magazine. Find them on Twitter @circumgender, or check out their new art and literary magazine @delicatelit.