Regina Jamison

Regina Jamison is a Lambda Literary 2014 Fellow. Her poetry has appeared online and in print in various literary journals such as Switchgrass Review Journal, Mom Egg Review, Five Two One Magazine, Magma Literary Journal, Promethean Literary Journal, and Sinister Wisdom: Black Lesbian Revolution among others. She was Guest Editor at Gnashing Teeth Publishing for SHE: Seen. Heard. Engaged Anthology Vol. 1. She has an MFA in Creative Writing. Her firstnovel, Choosing Grace, was published by Bella Books.


You remind me of the beach
with eyes as bold and gay
as an 80’s tune
a boom box blares
and fights to be heard over the coconut
waves of suntan lotion
your hand is a pinwheel jutted sideways
out the car window
it beats and flutters in the breeze
it is a rainbow flag without a nation
it is a nation under siege
but I claim you
I will extract the pain from behind your eyes
litter your lawn with starfish
make them twinkle, gleam, shine
no latitude or longitude too wide
what we have we cannot hide
because our love is wild like riptides
wild like algae wrapped around your leg
it aims to pull you down
cuz you see you remind the sea of freedom
a tsunami of sand burns your skin bright
with its roughness
the salt in the air and on your hair
does not settle
cannot settle
waves frothy with foam spill from your lips
as you bop and bounce to a beat
like a boat ashore never unsure
never run aground

----------------------------------------------- // ---------------------------------------------------------


you ask for sensual poems
words like succulents stuffed to bursting
a morpheme a diphthong
the thrill of air that escapes        from a lisp

you want poems that you can
wrap your arms around
words that caress and kiss
and find you wanton

say you’re experimenting with a new style
a new flavor
glimpses        maybe memories
of your long-ago reality
when sex sashayed
and wore high heels beneath tight jeans
or lazed about on barstools
that bolstered tight behinds and thighs trimmed and toned
from dancing

you crave the laissez faire of nights spent
holding hands by lighted fountains
catching stars as they fell from milky-way eyes

you yearn to relive your time
with the cloud babes        women who were way out of reach
and twice as hard to grasp
like kite strings      too thin and too fast

say you think love has slipped down
a black hole
you say love is all Black-Eyed Susan’s now
you say the buds have blossomed
and yet        the ladies hide inside

----------------------------------------------- // ---------------------------------------------------------

Rest in Peace Russell Maroon Shoatz

today, the Hudson River is rife with waves / I’m reminded the lapping is what hypnotizes
/not the static underneath / dead fish and fallen seeds immortalize you / but at least
they’re real / the sound of your voice is fading / we set boxes of your mixed tapes
outside yesterday /sent your shoes out to sea / Charlie said Shoatz always reminded
him of shots / we tried to put you back together / but you drifted like wood / always
lapping / and I’m reminded it’s the life that counts / not the static underneath


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