This here Wild West is
no reprieve, bearing all secret, no rule, fewest boundary
before transgression. A lark, his caw, makes good on the temperament:

A song whose words aren’t sung

dirge that swells- expands when we’re not careful,
pent and held in on the balls of our feet. The tightrope ballet. Mourning the living
will make you too tired to dance

It will make you graceless.

What do I love when I love You, my God? Who? How?

Like bloodletting, hauling firewood into hearth,
like correction, the declaration during likely inappropriate timing, kin to patience, grand exemption,
the big free.

I love like tying apron strings, the renegotiation, waitsong in the watchtower,
measured, final nod of the martyred.

I was in love most of the time, anyway: lost for words
at the sight of rain like this, on the sidestreets, off St. Germain-
beating the asphalt half to death.

This heartbeat rides everything; it cracks tectonic plates. Tassels on throw pillows quiver

               louder now, loud until.

To be disallowed his jaw: everyone at home watched my hair-trigger to a pillbox,
graceless as all Hell stewing. Blatant and ashamed, sober unto shame.

We planted knees into cemented church steps, then. Our roots intent to press, spool paths in the relief.

I’m sorry, but I don’t want to talk about April anymore.
I want to talk about the relief.

Imagine me, lucky enough to know a balm in Gilead. Justice comes now, more audibly than a cough
of right hook, siren swing. Thunder rumbles in the distance as if to say:

almost there- a few more seconds, please.

*Title is an excerpt from “The Season of Phantasmal Peace” by Derek Walcott


ALEXUS ERIN is a young writer, living in the UK. She originally hails from Princeton, New Jersey. Alexus' poems thematically address ontology, the domestic space, identity politics and their negotiations as a black woman, love, phenomenology, as well as autonomy. Alexus is a former intern with Poetry Society of America and the Alvin Ailey Foundation. Her work has previously appeared in Speak Into my Good Eye LLC, The Nervous Breakdown, Franklin University Literary Magazine, Potluck Magazine, the Melanin Collective, 6Sentences, as well as the American Society of Young Poets. Alexus has performed poetry at Poetry Out Loud, Esercizio Molini Poetry Slam (Switzerland) and Franklin University. She is currently pitching her first feature-length screenplay, American Lotus Project for production. Her chapbook, Descant, is set to soon be released with Saucepot Publishing. Alexus enjoys noise-punk, theology, and is she actively looking for bandmates. Any free time she manages, she spends choreographing modern dance routines for troupes of children.

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