Camisha L. Jones


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Blessed be the scar on my right knee,
the territory it clams as landmark,
preserving the day this body
plus that car didn't mean dying.

Blessed be the body
knowing to get back up
from the ground when it can.

Blessed be the scarred geography
of my left arm,
the mapped history
of intimate touch with irons,
so much popped oil,
the warm insides of that one stove.

Blessed be all that teaches what can happen
between flame and refusing to see what's there.

Blessed be the scar in the lowest valley of my back,
the red wagon I was never supposed to be in,
the swift pull of someone else's hand.

Blessed be my mother's warning,
my foolish disobedience.
Praise for now knowing what's wise
from what speeds too fast for me.

Blessed be the scar swimming cross my right breast,
a fish-shaped wound from a battle
doctors never had to wage.

Blessed be their suspicion, their needles, the carving knife.
Blessed be the body trying to turn on itself
the relief of knowing it failed.

* * *


Listen to the audio version.

If you could see

            the spectacular    s  p  e  c   t  r  u  m    of pain

the sparks      when they fly

would light up      the   w i d e    dark   sky    ENTIRELY

a strange thing      of beauty

           in its grotesque distortions


Camisha L. Jones is the author of Flare (Finishing Line Press, 2017). Her poems are published at The New York Times,, Button Poetry, The Deaf Poets Society, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Typo, The Quarry, and elsewhere. Camisha is Managing Director at Split This Rock, a national non-profit in DC that centers poetry that bears witness to injustice and provokes change. Find her on Facebook as Poet Camisha Jones and on Twitter and Instagram as 1Camisha.