Standard No. 2
grandfather shucked the leadhead
of no. 2’s to sharpen the point
when i handed him my broken pencil.
in the after his steady grip seared
my brain, his choice blade, his straight
arm a lowercase l pushing snow off
a windshield I a parallel force
his arm chipping away tree husk to cuspate.
my eyes took footage so I could take up
a blade like so
& do away with the second grade wall
mounted sharpener’s machine whirr
us pupils opted out of bathroom
breaks to lineup in front
& return to our desk with a needle’s
envy. another day, w/ the sun dotting
my eyes, another second grader stabbed
me w/ a freshly sharpened mead
or was it me that wielded my shading tool
or did i see my sis take one to the arm
& alarm in shrieks of lead
poisoning? overheard in adult
air & stories that came after 10PM
do you know where your children are
mine were a frontline of stuffed
animals & below my sleep.
a prime blade for carving.
Message from Klismos in the Multiplex on the Avenue
Recline, bitch. I bring news
gooder than Sunday’s new loafers.
Today your braids cascade
& give the buses something to pump
the breaks. Merciful scalp. Savage
edges. Trumpets take up full
course meals for you. Oxen outdated
in their ending participle. Oxtails
by the boiling pot. Luxury evolves
basic, from chairs to couches, but seams
poking & proding for the inner rot,
part of the frame
liable to termite engorgement,
what was made from hack
goes back to hack. The kindness
of trees is ticking,
Their sweet is for them.
Nabila Lovelace is a first-generation Queens born poet, her people hail from Trinidad & Nigeria. Sons of Achilles, her debut book of poems, is out now through YesYes Books. You can currently find her kicking it in Tuscaloosa.