Waiting for a Boat from Governor's Island

By Jada Gordon

Waiting for a Boat from Governor's Island

Holding hands with a guardrail
We dance watching moss and vines
Tackle empty buildings in the distance.
Vacancy helps me understand
What was lost and what we’ve found.
This space is a landmine of
Silence no longer submerged.
I grab some crab tacos
While the boat arrives in five minutes.

Where paths of eight million souls meet.
They walk on forest green grass and past old military homes.
They take selfies on the barge.
Roll down hills with their children.
Do we impose on nature? Or on the past?
Scrape our names and faces
Into brick, concrete, and tree bark.
Do we love space? Or what we can make of it?
Our boat floats from the city to the dock.

I marvel at the pigeons and how they take space.
Unflinching and confident.
Reclaim the grounds for which you long.
Only if it were that easy.

The city sings its sad song.
Telling me to come home.
Trade fresh untethered air.
For the smog we share.
The boat arrives in the city.
I am reluctant to return.


Baby, It's Plastic

Ignorance sits too well on your lips.
Your lips curve and you hide your pout.
Your pout is the best part about you.
Your mustache swims above your lips.
I wish your words matched your mouth.
Yet I'm here.
drawn to your drawl.
And hands large and consuming
like my father.
I could be bothered.
I could be angry.
But succumbing is as natural,
As a body in quicksand.
Entered with heart open,
I leave with my stomach filled.
Feeling empty as sweet nothings
Whirl around my ear.
It all makes sense,
Until it doesn't.

I Hope All Is Well

Remembering memories that lost my fingerprint. They want me to remember. I pretend to forget
until I can't remember. Dust off the appendage and reattach to me. I don't apologize for dead
situations. I pray over them. Let them fly away with embers. Dissipate into night sky. Be of rare
sightings like California condors.

And I'll wake up like sunshine in the morning.

Jada Gordon

Jada Gordon is a Black, Bronx-based writer, editor, and journalist whose work has been featured in Stuck In The Library, The Guild, Poetry In Motion 47 & 48, Sula Magazine, Indolent Books, and KGB Lit Journal. They're a co-curator and social media manager for the KGB Bar Monday Night Poetry Series and an apprentice at Ugly Duckling Presse. Their work discusses themes of family, sex, femininity, loss, and relationships.