SADE & STEVIE SONNET SEQUENCE
i listen to sade with men i love
foolish & wild, i whisper forever
glistening like diamonds, so wet, in their beds:
my spent heart, cold, shakes the four posts again
don’t mock me as i melt into my gin
it starts with record players and hot nights
i find the wrong ones & fail to do right.
the wine hugs as you call me a good girl.
desire gussies my throat like ruined pearls.
there are depths to the sorrow her voice holds:
sometimes i think you’re just too good for me
i beg for a cage but you set me free
i know i’m about to have a breakup—
stevie’s voice through the cvs speakers
the cvs dims as stevie’s voice spins:
when you build your house / then please call me home
i buy plan b & pads i hope to need.
the dark blood comes as i drive into work.
the psychic will call it a miscarriage.
my soul will call it an answered prayer.
i look for a man who was never there.
i call in sick as my bent body roars.
there are certain debts only women pay.
who did i destroy? myself, you or us?
years later, i don’t remember his name:
the man who stood outside as i shed you.
sade’s voice purrs through my studio walls:
will you keep bringing out the best in me?
ABOUT THE POET
Skye Jackson was born and raised in New Orleans, LA. She served as a poetry
editor for Bayou Magazine and several other publications. Her work appeared or
is forthcoming in Electric Literature, Green Mountains Review, Rattle, and
elsewhere. Her debut chapbook A Faster Grave won the 2019 Antenna Prize. She
was a finalist for the 2020 Rattle Poetry Prize, and in 2021, she won the AWP
Intro Journals Award. Her work was recently selected by Billy Collins for
inclusion in the Library of Congress educational programming. This past spring,
she was crowned the winner of the legendary KGB Open Mic Contest in New
York City. She currently serves as the 2022 Writer-In-Residence at the Key
West Literary Seminar in Florida.
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