Derrick Weston Brown is the founding Poet-In-Residence of Busboys and Poets and teaches Creative Writing to high school students in D.C. He is a graduate of the Cave Canem Summer and VONA Summer workshops.


You notice Lina’s legs first.
They’re long    slim and
sculpted. Her feet yawn out
to the end of the bed spread.
The paint on her toenails
is a chipped    bubblegum pink
and almost touches the picture frame.

She’s reading the Bible.
Topless. The good book
is small worn and
rusted fire hydrant red
in her hands.
The gold script on the
cover is a whisper.

It is Sunday.
There’s a sigh descending in this room.
Her bra is a sling of lace, straps
and clips resting to her right-
studying war no more.

Lina’s bare knees form
the steeple of her
body church. She lies back into the
brass cool of her headboard.

Her breasts rest behind pages
Psalms
her kneecaps podiums.

The truest brown
lies on the underside
of her thighs and the
plump push of
her backside into the mattress.

Finally a flash of blue
the embroidered triangle
of panties. Holiest of holies.
A pink room and Lina
with her blackberry dollop
of a mouth. Alone
with the Word.

Illustration by Thandiwe Tshabalala

Illustration by Thandiwe Tshabalala

 
Michael Singletary’s “Girl Reading the Book”

Michael Singletary’s “Girl Reading the Book”