buried beneath the floorboards of my family’s home on Alcoy Street; 2001.

crumbs of black eye peas and rice. swallowed
conversations. abandoned
birth control pills.
pornography.

denial.

a lost Tupperware container of what I once thought
was basil or oregano. deathbed
            prayers

            denial

                        tv remote back, still
clinging to gray masking tape
            fingernail clippings from my stepfather’s too-
large hands
the corner of a soiled fitted sheet

                                    denial.
my 9-year-old sister’s would-be suicide note.
            woman’s golden belt buckle that
fit no one in our house.
bedsprings refusing to squeak.
            barren
vessels.
my brother’s insecurities. the remnants
of a pedestal
space that awkward giggles
leave behind.
forgotten
action figures
Barbie’s high heels
            candy wrappers

            blood

gathered from a bitten cheek. forgotten
obligations.
unseen poetry show flier

relief
what would have been left
if anyone had come.

Brittany Rogers happily juggles the roles of mother, wife, poet, educator, and mentor on a daily basis. In addition to teaching at the high school level in the Detroit Public School System, Rogers has been writing since her sophomore year in high school, and has since been privileged to be a member of a collegiate level slam team, in addition to co-facilitating after school groups and teaching numerous poetry workshops on behalf of InsideOut Literary Arts Project.

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