Joylanda Jamison


Dry leaves scatter down an empty sidewalk. Leaf points turning end over end over end until their progression is halted—a soggy heap lodged in a gutter. What can be accomplished by holding back tears? Soon those leaves will become encased in a thin sheet of ice and the tiniest pressure will cause any numbness to break. Like jagged shards of glass splitting open the skin. Icy tears that run down cheeks over an untouched cup of coffee and the empty chair that accompanies a lonely body. Nestled only by the fire that flickers and crackles and pops within the confines of a fireplace. Misplaced heat doesn’t comfort but burns fiercely, unguided, uncontrollable. The littlest spark of lightning—lost keys, stubbed toe, overdraft fees, the presence of a loved one—can cause the most apathetic land to burn bright with flame. And the tongue is a flame of fire. Licking at the roots of trees, dismantling their foundations. Charred bones and cracked lips where lush conversation used to flourish. tears fall. steam rising from the ashes.

Little white pills chug
down my throat, there is no spring…
there is no relief.

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