"Hourglass" is featured in The Southeast Review Vol. 36.2.

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Hourglass

A father exists, but not

much. How

much is enough?

Woodchuckers chuck

& that’s a sufficient riddle.

There is a limit. Even when the action

is your name— to father

is a verb. Predictable

that I ask about love. Lovelace

my Grandfather’s last

name, the first

of many branches on burned

bark. I stand at the Black Warrior

Dam & am alert at the lack

of alarm. I could dip my toe in the town’s

drinking water. I walk

more than I drive, but once

when I was high I curved into the right turn

of a casual street & thought

the police car’s siren alit

a dead black boy laying over two solid

parallel yellow lines, & maybe it was a trip

trapped in the blue note of a trombone.

Dear God,

I hope so, or

I’m sliding every egg from my uterus. Give me

baron when the dead boys from the screen appear dead

everywhere.

Last week a wind

wandered into my car on the same street. It was

lost and non-threatening. I drove

it home, though we nearly passed

its season.

It’s Christmas

& Grandpa’s empty

chair cracks my mother in half. I rub

her face, he holds

my hand—sand

returning to sand.

Nabila Lovelace is a first-generation Queens native, her people hail from Trinidad & Nigeria. She is the author of Sons of Achilles (YesYes Books, 2018), her debut book of poetry. You can currently find her kicking it in Tuscaloosa.

Photo: A. H. Jerriod Avant