“Womack & Womack.” A Poem by Gabrielle Octavia Rucker

From the New Collection Dereliction

December 22, 2022  By Gabrielle Octavia Rucker

in want, wielding radar against myself.
my better judgment animated a body
warped under shadow, psychosis
stemmed cinematics: a curtailed
lover’s matinee.

we craft hermetic force, forge code.
lips lapping toward a language shared
through dream. i’d crawl long out that
river following you home, your sweet
smelling fervor familiar like climate.

loving through a screen blurred by sleep
is a fraught commitment. perhaps i should
put down my pen and meditate on that—
instead i recount the weather we wedged
between riddles, sweet nothings bent
through bluelight.

hopeless as it goes so often for us
dancing the night away in secret. i
might mention i’m unwell, reveal
my burns, the blood sucked clean
by the stage lights spell—gauche
symbols of fame ring true you’d
steal love off my lips for the
sing-along charade-scape. oh,
how you doubt me—trick of the
brown drink guzzle.

conflicting sonics. no somatic match
made true. don’t bother me, i’m nursing
another sickness. in bed blinking sexy-like
at a photo burned onto my phone. how long
can i go on clutching a promise made to a
child by a child? no one’s at fault, not really
—the higher mind circles the scene
unencumbered by her earthly affection
but i have fingers and find relief in counting
your transgressions—come to find there’s a
prize in it all, a ribbon surfing the horizon
of my vision begging to be severed, stopped—


Excerpted from Dereliction by Gabrielle Octavia Rucker, available via The Song Cave.

Gabrielle Octavia Rucker
Gabrielle Octavia Rucker
Gabrielle Octavia Rucker is a self-taught writer and poetic practitioner from the Great Lakes currently living in the Gulf Coast. She is a 2020 Poetry Project Fellow and 2016 Kimbilio Fiction Fellow. Her work has appeared in various media and publications, including the Sundance Film Festival, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day series, Annulet, Montez Press Radio, and more.

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