National Poetry Month Day 15: Omotara James






I went to the hardware store for milk and you weren’t there
so I went to the graveyard for eggs
but just missed you. Then I followed the waterfall
of your perfume down the railroad track,
but couldn’t lift it. There aren’t any flowers
at the steel mill or the lumberyard. Out here,
even the air burns from the
near miss. Even the moon
needs a cool sip before
illuminating the evening. I
hardly ever have a partner
when I go walking—Oh,
how your nearness
incites the grieving.


Photograph of Omotara James courtesy of Omotara James.

Omotara James is the author of Song of My Softening (forthcoming from Alice James Books, 2022). She has been awarded fellowships from the New York Foundation of the Arts, Lambda Literary, and the Cave Canem Foundation. A recipient of the 92Y/Discovery Poetry Prize, James is a visual artist, editor, and teacher of poetry in New York City. She believes that radical thought without radical action is dead. More from this author →