Apr 26

on eagerness

on eagerness

after Aziza Barnes

by bernard ferguson

consider the centipede and its slow progression of legs across the cold kitchen tile
then consider my sister the sharpest blade out the drawer and in her hands
how she will not rest until she splits the bronze of the creature in two until she
stands over its carcass to watch the last twitch of its last moving leg both of
them anxious for safety the whole game has always been of wit and will
some day, i am to face the beast and its line of weapons stretched long and deep
into the night i know no other way to prepare than to sweat this skin golden
with every second of breath that i am gifted i know its best to swallow the meal whole
before it sprouts a belly and grows desperate to fill it i know its best to leap
for what’s mine even if there is a sidewalk and its concrete made to split my lips
promise me a passport that would grant me a life in this country of loving faces
and i will hand over whatever dignity still lines my skin as a sacrifice
promise me a lover that won’t turn to ash in the face of the sun and i will turn
my back on the world as I know it. a woman once dragged all of her
wanting across three state lines to show its tender back to the face of my
roommate and when i asked if she would be doing it again he said he just
wished she wasn’t so eager wished she had been ravenous without baring her
teeth don’t we all want the monster to control its hunger until we have learned how to
lick its horns and savor? there is something about witnessing the sum of all
our wanting for the first time how it draws the tongue out and onto the chin
i do not wish to play coy with my lips and how they can swallow an entire body
without killing it i have been contained to the edges of this skin for decades
too long another second is asking so much of me



Bernard is a Bahamian immigrant trying to plant his feet in Minnesota. He enjoys volunteering and performing at local poetry slams. He thinks poetry as an art form is ready and willing to do some of the work the world needs these days. He has poems featured and upcoming in Glass: A Journal of Poetry, TRACK//FOUR and Button Poetry, among others. He was once described as “everyone’s missing sibling” and hasn’t stopped smiling since.

Art by featured artist Sirena Hildebrand.

Monsters and Lace was created by Sirena the Mermaid and Chris the Troll. They live in Lancaster, PA, with their many plant children, such as Mary the Mint and Bert the Dracaena. On any given day, you might find them romping through the forest, toting reflectors, camera gear, smoke grenades, and who knows what other props. The aim, is to tell a story via pictures, whether it be a hard road a friend has travelled, or a light hearted children’s tale. To view the world through a lens is a beautiful thing! To capture someone’s soul within a photo is a hard task, but one they aim to master.