May 2009

Nagueyalti Warren


Nagueyalti Warren 's latest book, Margaret (Lotus Press, 2008), has won the 2008 Naomi Long Madget Poetry Prize and is a nominee for the Georgia Author of the Year Award.

Blood Burning Moon    

Morning mocks romance
in a shack where children sleep
curled into threadbare pallets
disguised satin in moonlight.

The alba she longs to sing
sticks in her throat—dry kindling.
He comes. Places his iron hands
on her slim hips.

Pulls her to his unwashed face.
His cinereous whisky lips
cause her to heave, gag a familiar sickness,
pray for blood.

He doesn't know the landscape of her
soul—its longings for life without
steel fists, work boots, overalls.
She watches him slurp warmed-up coffee,

hears his empty stomach growl and sees
their stair-step children waking up.
When he leaves she steeps tea and prays
for blood before changing soiled diapers

and stirring gruel on a stove burning coal.
No soap operas anesthetize her moil.
Radio is static. But she sees
a dress: red velvet in her mind.

Soft flowing, red velvet.

She prays for blood.



Nagueyalti Warren: Poetry
Copyright ©2009 The Cortland Review Issue 43The Cortland Review