A Woman Lovingly Strokes
Her Lover’s Arm in the Bookstore
by Karisma Price
And I taste the blood pooling from the blister
in my mouth. And I am a jar
of names not worthy of repeating. I want
to hold you in our sickness, apply
the vapor rub to your feet. I can never write
a love poem that doesn’t end
with death so here is a list of the dead: Jackie,
Franklin, Maria…And I remember
my grandparents were divorced decades before
I entered the world.
Please God, don’t let me slip
into the persona. The heater warms us, though the past
due bill hangs on the refrigerator
like a report card, a loose tooth, an ancestor we know
has met the wrong side of a rope.
I find it ironic that my grandmother’s maiden name
was Valentine. What to do with the song
in my heart that hasn’t been softened
by a hand not my own? Should I accept
the hand of someone who views me as a chore?
Most days I rebuke
myself, a pile of unclean laundry unfolding
on a newly carpeted floor.
Published July 7th, 2019
Karisma Price is a Cave Canem fellow and 2018 Best of the Net Nominee. Born and raised in New Orleans, LA, she holds an MFA in poetry at New York University. Her work has appeared in Four Way Review, Narrative Magazine, Wildness, and elsewhere. In 2018, Karisma was one of the writers named on Narrative Magazine's 30 Below 30 list of New and Emerging authors. Along with Kwame Opoku-Duku III, she is a founding member of the Unbnd Collective.
Darcy Lauren Briks (born 1982, Milford, CT) grew up in various suburbs throughout the country before settling down in Fairfield, CT for her formative years. This set the tone for her desire and ability to explore various styles and mediums throughout her career. She studied art and graphic design in a post-graduate program at Massachusetts College of Art and Design (Boston), then continued to explore different artistic mediums, including photography, acrylic painting and mixed media, throughout her twenties. Now, she mainly creates abstract acrylic paintings with a focus on color combinations and enjoys experimenting with new painting styles in each series. One of her latest series, Hutt Lagoon Pink Lake, features pinks, oranges, and emerald colors inspired by the aerial landscape views of a natural wonder on Western Australia’s coast. Her other new series, The Magna Series, makes abstractions of overarching global and personal issues using freeform shapes and marks. Themes include political issues, feminist and otherwise, climate change, motherhood, rebirth of self, and love.
After almost 7 years living in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, Darcy now lives in Ardsley, NY with her husband and two young children. She is Founder and Creative Director of a boutique creative agency where she does branding, print and web design. Her first solo show, MAGNA CHROMA, was featured at Lucas Lucas in Williamsburg Brooklyn (through March 23, 2019).