I wanted to say— Sweat
from his mouth. Put my wooden
dresser on the curb. Next to the trash can
my mother is wailing,
holding her bosom. Then gripping
the dirt.—The sky can't hear you.
Even her fingernails turned black.

You can't stay here,
my uncle tells her, and I am
grateful. He always smells of
vodka and vomit, something
I mistook for powder. He slapped me
once when I touched it. Watched
as it turned to dust
on my fingertip.

Porsha Allen is a poet and writer from Richmond,VA and a recent
graduate of Virginia Union University. Porsha is a substitute
teacher and MFA candidate at Queens University of Charlotte.