Ode to the high top fade
Joshua Bennett

You stand like a black box theatre in a one-pony town where no one likes theatre, except for the one pony, who loves August Wilson, especially the way August Wilson describes juba & inheritance & regret. I do not regret your genesis. I was simply unprepared for the side effects. How you announce my entrance for everyone on the A train, how they fictionalize my vertical leap, my Spades telepathy, my court vision in overtime, you get what I'm getting at here. You're rocking the boat, my man! You grow out of this body in small black fists, like a poplar you could scale to Alpha Centauri, like a shadow arguing for a body. You make this body unfamiliar. Mom & Dad loved you at first, but now you are three weeks past acceptable, an inch too long for phase or interview or the gravity of hard bristle & shea butter you refuse to obey. You refuse to obey & I do not know how to care for anything or anyone that dares to break into this vault I built from scholarship money & easy praise, this armory skin. Teach me to raise the flesh they flayed. My silhouette's gorgeous speed. The many contradictions of this             name you redeem.

Joshua Bennett hails from Yonkers, NY. He is a third-year doctoral candidate in the English Department at Princeton University, Callaloo Fellow, and, as of this summer, teacher of 8th grade Composition. His poetry has either been published or is forthcoming in Anti-, Tidal Basin Review, Drunken Boat, Word Riot and Muzzle. He is also the founding editor of Kinfolks Quarterly.

more by Joshua Bennett:
The Order of Things