Scenting air, sense atmosphere: powder creamed decaf
and bacon fat, Gma praise-crowned & worship-gowned from service picks
beefsteak tomatoes, too rare to spoil outside, Frigidaire is carved and Pops
maws hardwood smoked Gwaltney; its excess gilding Merita white. He flops cognac
chair, fastens sweat leather. Dandruff ashen Pop’s crown, aftermath of Wahl clippers,
and mosquito heat milling about his scalp.      Six decades and bulging veins still bull
tendons, muscle—settle this month’s debts. My veins flush their blood, slight of coursing
half the laps of Pops—fourth of Gma’s; how will I someday guide their arks to bank?
Coming through, Pops drags a jay on way to room-which-never-gets-used. Vinyl
unsheathed and set, International Lover cajoles every nook of house—we move:
Gma-prayer, myself-chores, Pops croons,       let me take you ’round the world
             as he slides each arm into his everyday work jacket.

Cover art: “Objects” by Eros Livieratos

Jorrell Watkins

Jorrell Watkins hails from Richmond, VA. He is a 2022-23 Poetry Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, and an alum of Hampshire College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He received fellowships from the Smithsonian Institution and Fulbright Japan. His chapbook, If Only the Sharks Would Bite, won the inaugural Desert Pavilion Chapbook Series in Poetry. Find more his of poetry in Black Warrior Review, Obsidian Lit, Diode Poetry, Interim, and elsewhere.