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A Witch, Trying. after Jennifer Givhan

a poem by Angelina Valdez

And what were the bruises
purpling my arms?
Memories, from the last time or
stories from the first?
Is it okay,
being okay
again, after you?
I was never a murdered
woman but a witch, trying to
make myself whole
after you. Left is
nothing but I,
no wedding,
ever, no demon
father to link elbows, to
stroll between pews
anyways. Just I
now, holding my own.

from the Genre: Urban Arts No 3

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A poem by Ricardo Hanley Jr.

She intently scrolled through my phone and deemed every woman a hoe.

I stood silent, knowing exactly how this would go.

I’m not one to pretend nor make an attempt to defend against her imagination,

of which I know, I can never contend.

But, again the insults flew at me, a swarm of stinging bees

but I was immune for  a time. Her wild rage grew, as I watched,

she became a slave to her own mind.

The curses and accusations meeting my silence.

Like gasoline poured onto flames violent, a blind fury burning in her brown eyes, now shining crimson and violet.

I did my best to drown her out, with unspoken thoughts, until again,

I was hit in my mouth.

I closed my eyes, seeking the best route I could find, in the stillness of my building anger,

Mama’s voice went ringing through my mind, “Never place your hands on a woman,”

a lesson revealing one side.

I continued searching my depths for the lesson which I could justly apply.

Papa’s voice rang out mentally, “walk away, walk it off,” adhering his potent passive words,

and knowing one wrong move whether justly or unjustly deserved, in a moment all could be lost,

should I cast the second stone, I’ll be nailed to the cross. I disappeared like Christ into the darkness of the night,

with my integrity in tact and problematic phone as my guiding light.

Ricardo Hanley, Jr.

Published in Genre: Urban Arts Second Edition

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