Saeed Jones was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and grew up in Lewisville, Texas. He received a BA from Western Kentucky University and an MFA in creative writing from Rutgers University–Newark. His debut poetry collection, Prelude to Bruise (Coffee House Press, 2014), which Flavorwire called “perhaps the readiest, most painfully assured debut of the decade,” was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and was awarded the 2015 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry. Jones has received a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from Cave Canem and Queer Art Mentorship. The executive editor of culture at BuzzFeed, Jones lives in New York City.
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for Thapelo Makutle
All throat now already brighter than the stars.
I could hold you in my song. Sotto voce, tremble
against me: a breeze slips in, cools my blood
to garnet bed stained with stones, cold and finally
useless I Orpheo, I lyre. Down river, even damned
with hum, there is room for your cry in my mouth Sweet,
sweet sotto voce, I sang your moan until the machete
swung then I kept singing. I eyeless, I eternal.
The guards hold blades to the sky and cut the dark open.
Do you hear me raining from the wound? My tongue
is a kingdom You live there.