after Jeanann Verlee

It’s been a year since we dated and she still loves me
and she trusts my smile and I just woke up from a long
nap and my sweatpants are a storefront window and my
erection is pressing its face against the glass and “come
over to watch a movie” means “come over to have sex”
(everybody knows this) and the shades are closed and
the theater is a twin sized dorm room bed and the laptop
is a heated blanket across our thighs and she says
she “only wants to be friends” and I know she means it
and I am not sure if I ever loved her and I tell her
that I miss kissing her and she tells me to stop and
her sweatpants are a storefront window and she shakes
her head and she does not smile and I do not move
and she presses her lips against my face and I do not move
and my face is my chest and my chest is in between
my thighs and her naked body is a red heated blanket
and the movie is over and I ask her if it was good
and she says yes and does not look at me and I feel
like I have stolen something and I blame her and I curse
her silence under my breath as she walks across
my bedroom and I blame her for ruining everything and
I blame her for not wanting me but still taking my fingers,
for placing them inside her and I am the villain
with deep eyes and a hunger and the power to turn
lights off and the power to stare at a window until
the glass shatters, until she walks across it, the power
to blame her for this too; for looking at this monster
that I keep locked in my room and loving him still,
every tooth, wearing my smile like a storefront, slipping
onto my body like a pair of sweatpants.


AARON SAMUELS, raised in a Black-Jewish household in Providence Rhode Island, is an award-winning poet, educator, and community organizer.  Aaron has performed his work for the last six years, ranking among the top poets in the youth, collegiate, and national competitions.  He has served as a coach for the Providence, Washington DC, and Boston Youth Poetry teams. Aaron was the founder and coach for the Washington University collegiate and adult teams.  As an educator, Aaron stresses the urgency for cross-cultural dialogue, teaching writing workshops at schools and community organizations across the country.  Aaron has been a featured speaker and performer for TV One’s Verses & Flow, the Louder than a Bomb Chicago Youth Poetry Festival, the Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival, the Urban Word Preemptive Education Conference, and the St. Louis Amnesty International Poetry Reading.  His work has been published or is forthcoming in the Tidal Basin Review, Mandala Journal, Sole Literary Journal, Muzzle Magazine, and Stark Literary Journal. Aaron’s first book of Poetry, Mutually Assured Destruction, has been described as “both a personal reflection on the intersections of race and faith, and an unrelenting critique of U.S. Empire” as it dives into the confluences of race, religion, class, and gender in the modern world. His next book, Yarmulkes and Fitted Caps, will be released on Write Bloody Publishing in August 2013.

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