3 poems by Darrian Wesley – The Feminist Wire

3 poems by Darrian Wesley

Words Before Dying


As my mother’s mother warned

of her love when I confessed,


gay: many have died for this.

But to bullet this body


bloody as good ganja does

the eye’s white would be


a shame. Who would write

my poems or throw my shade?


Pray God take the breath of our blood,

He drain its strivings


to be holy, leave me blue as the delta

Muddy Water’s Rock Me you hum,


hang me hand and foot until

I am hollow as the Lamb crying Eloi.


After Breath


No, the invisible behave visibility,

onlooking the body – no longer

their shelter. Believe them two-parted


as a Centaur, formed in the pangs of ink.

When they ask of you, O living,


not to feel shame for how they have

lived, you know their prayers,

the whole pageant of imploring:


Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy.

They endeavor as you do

kneeling, eyes closed, to see


those flames of fire, to know

the beauty of Christ. But for the dead, yes,

there is an air of arrogance


to believe they could reattach

themselves to a place among you, close

as the white of your eye’s. Believe them.






Learn me like your rifle

soldier, before our kingdom


begins again to suffer

violence or I shoot you


to the ground like the blood

your fists have broken to.


Yes, and I need you

lover of my flesh


and sometimes the fear

fleshing my love,


as the tears I pray

in silence with to my god


while I strive to sleep,

the last ritual of healing.




darrianDarrian Wesley is a poet and Chicagoan. His work has been featured in The Feminist Wire, Word Riot, Broadside Literary Journal and anthologized in Electronic Corpse: Poems from a Digital Salon. He earned his BA degree from Bradley University (2011) and has held faculty positions on the primary, secondary and university levels. He is currently pursuing an interdisciplinary MFA at Lesley University and working on a biopic short film