For My Love Two Weeks After Quitting Your Job

The sky is pulling a splotchy sun
out of its throat, light leaking
in to muddy the black
of our room. Your eyes are bright,
swollen glints on your side
of the bed, the pucker between
your brows unsolvable,
curdling there like milk
left out to tart in the open air.
I creep in, invade
your pillow, rearrange
your body with my corners
and you indent faithfully.

I am used to my own sadness
—used to its lumber
of limbs flowering under
my skin, stretching the slippery
fibers of me, claiming more—but yours
is a witchcraft unto my body.
It bulges above us,
solid as a sandbag. I could wet
a dry finger and press the fine beads
on my tongue. Your worry
fills me like my breath
fills your breath when we lie
like this, a tight braid buoyed
by duvet, nose on nose,
knee over knee,
your beard crispy in my palms.

The writer, Samantha Samakande, a brown-skinned woman with shoulder-length braids, stands in front of a bookshelf. She is facing the camera.

Samantha Samakande is a Zimbabwean poet currently based out of Bloomfield, NJ where she resides with her husband. She is a graduate of Allegheny College and is a junior editor for F(r)iction. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The American Journal of Poetry, Sugar House Review, Hobart, and Gordon Square Review, among other journals. In 2020, she was the second-place winner of Frontier Poetry’s Award for New Poets.

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