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To not accept a 'no' as a 'no' is a kind of violence

or for her, a kind violence.

She calls me 'baby' & just like that,

my name & its course lineage is devoured

in the love talk of monsters.

What she wouldn't give

to get her mouth around me.

Something malleable.

Like a petting zoo,

she offers me a government of flowers

buries hand grenades beneath,

keeps the pins under her tongue.

To give in to something so ruthless & manicured,

her archaeology turns something wild & frightened in me.

A fear so old the night & all its loose teeth

know it only by sound.

I'm saying she's the reason hell could be a pretty place too.

after Julian Randall


I.S. JONES is a writer, educator, and hip-hop head hailing from Southern California. She is a second-year fellow with The Watering Hole, BOAAT Writer's Retreat, and Callaloo. I.S. is very Blk &loud about her joy. She received an honorable mention from the Academy of American Poets, her work has received two nominations for the Best of The Net Anthology and in 2016 was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is the Assistant Editor at Chaparral and Voicemail Poetry. Her works have appeared in The Harpoon Review, Fat City Review, Qua Magazine, The Blueshift Journal, SunDog Lit, Matador Review,, forthcoming in great weather for MEDIA, Drunken Boat (now Anamoly!), The Shade Journal, the Black Voices Series with Puerto Del Sol, and elsewhere. She received her MFA from Hofstra University. I.S. is running for Poet Laureate of the Moon.

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