Dāshaun Washington



I once felt the sun in the hearth of my mother’s
bosom, burning like maple
in winter’s eve –

Her fragrant embers kissed my nose
and tucked me in with a sheet
of night upon my eyes.

She told me a tale of the sacred flowers called women,
which bloom in spring and bear fruit
from autumn to fall.

I learned the delicacy of a flower’s mellow touch
and dreamt to dare possess
such pleasure.


I picked my first flower seven springs ago –
his petals against my lips felt like the divine
caress of satin and silk.

The nectar of his kiss tasted of juniper
and jasmine, but the saccharine dew
of his honey-tinged skin smelled
of forget-me-nots.

He savored my kiss upon his lips and smiled,
as I used to after a bite of my mother’s
sock-it-to-me cake –
maybe my lips taste just as sweet.


It’s been too long since I’ve felt the sun’s embrace
upon my skin and my eyes have yet to meet
the lull of night, again.

Of all untold things from my father’s mouth
to cross my mind in the still of eventide,
I’ve wondered most of which season
men bloom.

Dāshaun Washington is a Massachusetts native and Dallas resident. He is the 2018 winner of the Robert Bone Memorial Poetry Prize. His work has appeared in Raleigh Review, Borderlands, Tinderbox, Reunion, Bluestem, among others. Dāshaun is currently pursuing a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas.