National Poetry Month Day 18: “Skin Like Brick Dust” by Saeed Jones


Welcome to The Rumpus’s National Poetry Month project. We’ll be running a new poem from a different poet each day for the month of April.

Skin Like Brick Dust

In bed, your back curved
to answer the heat of my holding

& Harlem was barely awake below us
when a half-broken building

gave in. First, a few loose bricks,
then decades crashed to the street

just as a bus pulled up. Passengers,
choking on dust, rushed

to escape the wrecked weight
of someone else’s memory.

Two blocks beyond gravity,
I pressed into you, into you & away

from all the breaking. I didn’t know
your name, so I kissed one

into your mouth. Told myself
he is my body but you

were already on your way
out into the sirens.

Saeed Jones

If you like what the Rumpus is doing for National Poetry Month, you’ll probably like this multimedia anthology of original poems we’ve run at The Rumpus over the last three years. Available only for iPad. Check it out!

Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →