Chicago by Laila James
His eyes were secretly beautiful
Bold and brown at first glance,
From near or far for the first few days together.
He lay on my couch at sundown and all the beautiful parts of him
Ricocheted off the gold honeycomb, bordering the black.
Sparks of green underneath the hombre to bold brown.
He grinned and charged with little boy glee of being seen
He saw my face light up and all his hope pulled me to him for a kiss
He sent a photo of his leg
Mid-thigh to the end of the foot
Shorts raised to reveal the leg of his Hanes.
An unremarkable knee on an unremarkable leg,
Laid flat on the recliner
No muscle tone to boast
No flexing for extra effect
Relaxed, silly, sweet flirt of a knee
In the morning his eyes went dark
He spoke of old loves and old responsibilities
And their current weight
He spoke of an understanding in the shower
That he needed to get away
The bold brown closing out light
Fear and anger setting in
Little boy’s heart reacting in a man’s body
His brow bone got heavier
He asked me to go away with him
My instinct was to mother him, but I knew I had to let him go
Laila James is an actor, writer, student at SFCC who recently studied at Santa Fe University of Art and Design where she graduated summa cum laude.
Laila–I love your poem! You describe a relationship that I’m sure we’ve all had, where one person has more invested and then has to say goodbye. The details are vivid about his “sparks of green under the hombre brown” of his eyes, and the “sweet, silly flirt of a knee.” So intimate and honest. And your last line: “My instinct was to mother him but I knew I had to let him go.” Powerful. Very nice work!
This powerful poem lets us into a private moment with authentic emotion and insight. That’s what great writers do. Well done. Thanks Laila!
Really evocative… well done, Laila. As always.