by Marcus Jamison

Something about this night
is a prostitute maneuvering unfamiliar streets.
A cold uncertainty rides the wind
and the jagged lean of leafless trees
feels ominous, like the coming of something.
I sit at my window, unable to sleep,
an alleyway the only view my meager wage affords me.
She is walking – a woman, no more than nineteen,
and the amber hue of manufactured light makes
her disheveled hair look emblazed.
I think fallen angel.
One of the straps of her black dress dangles
from her shoulder like a prayer, unanswered.
She circumvents puddles and moves
around trash, the alley alive
with the clicks of her heels. And I try
to put myself in her shoes.
I wonder what must have happened
for her to end up here.
I think of my mother, of my sisters, and wonder
what alleys their men have put them in.
Long after the young woman is gone,
I remain there at the windowsill,
staring at flecks of stars that spot the sky
like tiny diamonds lost in a void.
about this night
is a ghost of the things undone.



Marcus Jamison is a junior at Old Dominion University, majoring in English and African-American studies. Upon graduation, Marcus plans to enroll in graduate school, pursuing degrees in creative writing and English. He hopes to continue to refine his craft in poetry and fiction, as well as seek publication in journals and literary magazines. He was born in Hamlet, North Carolina, but considers the Washington, D.C. area to be his home.