Jada Gordon: Three Poems

Jada Gordon
Flocci Nivis

I studied birds during the pandemic

A rock pigeon resided
on a branch outside my home.
The pain of what could’ve been
rests on its wings.
Fluttering through
cutting autumn wind.
Cunning lies we tell ourselves.
We have all the time in the world. 
Even when time runs dry.
And the space on the couch
leaves a fresh indent.
But the body is gone.
Their presence whirling
through apartment air.
Leaves wrap around window bars
as I clutch my teacup.
We’re all together.
Happily in fear.
Clinging on for dear life.
My cat sings to the wind.
Fall wails at my lonely subconscious. 
This cozy solitude.
This brisk air, a reminder.
How I am afraid of death’s emptiness. 
What’s being alive if not being seen? 
To feel the warmth of bodies
spark a match to bones.
The pigeon is steadfast in its nest. 
Stuck in its profile pose.
Bracing for whatever may come.
Us together, the next wave of wind, 
engaged in a gaze.

 

Nightshift Sisters

The ten-thirty bus stop club commences. 
The incoming fall wind doesn’t deter us.

We’ve finished shifts and started them. 
Coming and going at the same time.

We share a slice of life every night.
Swoon at baby pictures, hold each other’s leftovers.

The name of the game is commiserate: the bus takes longer. 
Cold becomes stronger.

Holding on is the pill that keeps us here.

My body leans on frigid glass.
A small escape from an eight-hour shift.

Our exhaustion, a sinking ship.
It is here I realize, schedules are a folk tale.

So impatience gives way to voices 
to bodies craving the next stop.

Let’s wash ourselves in stories
as thick as blankets that call my name from home.

The currency in cursory smirks 
from strangers reaching out.

I hear my mother in five languages at this stop. 
In the desolate darkness, our lives intertwine.

Like the roots of a tree, 
only up and out from here.

Scrubs sit next to worn stockings
that brush against my distressed jeans.

I welcome the safe space we carry 
through random touch.

The Fresh Direct Bus comes. 
Every bus but our bus comes.

I desire to walk this threshold
and leave the worries of day outside.

I plan to be the first person who boards. 
But the matriarch of the bus stop arrives.

My seat becomes her seat.
Her salt and pepper hair swaying to the light.

She always says “Thank you so much, sweetheart.” 
Her voice is a quiet storm presiding over us.

Blessed be the women who traverse 
the city searching for better.

 

I’m Afraid I’ll Always Love You

With no explanation or sequence of events, the bending and the breaking of the sweet spot. Spaces of your breath in the silence of the night. Wildfire beginnings and the awkward endings. Becoming ghosts to each other. Another distant connection scrolling past screens. On a layover flight, I called and you never answered. My love left in the wings, my heart swimming in hotel sheets. At dawn, in a losing race with sleep, I’m slipping through loneliness like daylight bound to slip through these curtains. No amount of drug, drink, or brew could wash this way. I’m one with this cheap hotel. Empty, dim, and stark. The lights are on but one is home. Home doesn’t feel like home. More like an assortment of sordid, sensuous, fond memories lingering off doorframes.
 

Pray to be reborn after these days of escapism. The languor of Bourbon St, the stew of heat, joy, and mile-high alcohol cups. These narrow streets loved me more than hands gripping me down a dim hallway. Crowds became a family reunion. The electric slide commences through the streets with a soulful heaviness. At Arm- strong Park, I sway to Louis Armstrong’s trumpet statue, hoping notes would flutter out and somehow put my life into place. Humidity sticks to my legs like your tongue once did. Explore me. I implore you. It’s overwhelming but I’ll never rid myself of you. Or will I never rid myself of the feeling? The shower scrubs adven- tures off. But I will come back for more. A woman reads my palms on a street corner. She informs me that I will not age gracefully. I will be as stubborn as the sunlight. However, I’ll have one special person that’ll love me through it. This unveiling is a mystery, but I’ll swim in a sea of curiosities until that day comes.

Contributor(s)

Jada Gordon

Jada Gordon is an award winning Bronx-based writer, photographer, editor, and Co-Curator/Social Media Manager of The KGB Monday Night Poetry Series. She's a CUNY City College of New York graduate and her poetry discusses themes of identity, family, and sexuality. Jada Gordon's work has been featured in multiple CUNY College literary magazines including, Stuck In The Library (Brooklyn College), The Guild (BMCC), and Poetry In Motion (City College). She's also the recipient of BMCC's Student Writing Award for "Best Lyrical Essay" (2017).

(732.77 KB)