When the Saints Go Marching They Bring Their Sisters
W.J. Lofton



How many scars can fall onto the backdrop


Of a black girl’s skin


Making her tough,


Walking with all that Big Bang in her chest


Expectations on zero gravity


After being let down


Again and again


I know more women who remind me of Tupac


Rather than the men sharing the same skin


And nose ring as him




My sister is a








Compendium on revolution


An alleyway for the homeless


A summer of Sunday mornings


For souls in search of a song


She is Lauryn after The Fugees






When learning to black girl magic her




Into lemonade


A Viola Davis type of sun ray


No fence has enough wood or wire to become her prison


My sister


Has dissolved sorrow


Birthed Kool-Aid smile in its wake


Shaken the earth with her prayers


Her spine be miracle




All those tears be wonder


How many stars dim to the light of her eye


Sky cracks its lips to laugh


Sun bows


Moonlight buckles its grace


When black girl swallows and owns the scars


That she never asked for




Black girl


Pops gum


Twists hair


Got degree


For her I would turn an army of goons into ghosts


Deadbeats into dust


Because she has loved her brother into panther, through pain




W.J. Lofton is the author of These Flowers Were Held by Broken Vases. Lofton studies political science at Troy University and currently is working in the Middle East. He hopes to create an open space conducive to dialogue addressing social injustice, education, sexual identity, and social constructs.