Terrell Jamal Terry


I was sleeping inside my head
I walked with someone throughout a house
Empty of all furnishings
Stem of the city morning
I couldn’t enslave or extend it
My castle of blemishes
Why do you never see them see you
Without seeing feathery flames?
Bereft of the sun, I would not hold
I could sink into incivility
I can be an idiot
I claimed the walls were cages
Sometimes they were not
In the attic of other ways
I still mean every sound
The orange ball dips into the river
Liquid neon light
If I hide in a boat (gloomstricken)
I’d have to jump out
That’s not giving up
Write this down
I want a red composition
I want a blue composition
I want it black
For a stretch of time
A scar across memory


Terrell Jamal Terry is the author of Aroma Truce (Black Lawrence Press, 2017). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Literary Review, Green Mountains Review, West Branch, The Journal, Crab Orchard Review, Columbia Poetry Review, and elsewhere. He resides in Pittsburgh, PA.