NYU Black Renaissance Noire Spring 2015 - Page 28

By PARNESHIA JONES Bitter Smell of Ashes I stand by the silver bullet casket waiting for you to come back to life. Great-uncle. Belly full of heavy laughs, pockets holding shiny copper and earth nickel coins. A small gathering sanctifies you. Your wife does not weep; only one daughter of your three mourns you enough to offer her tears. Your men children sit still and disturbed. They echo your features but will never tell stories of you to their children. I knew the one they all wanted, the sweet and tender father they wished for; you were a sacred carving in my kinfolk collection. They knew someone else. Your wife knew the tyrant striking your life lines across her face — fingers roped around her throat, the noose of your marriage unlocks to set her free. She offers nothing in your death, just the badge of a broken wife who stopped loving you long before your last breath. Your children pass your casket one by one. No love or forgiveness, just a body left hollow and haunted. 26 Your widow cinders you to ash, lets you blow in the violent wind, leaving no trace you ever existed. BRN-SPRING-2015.indb 26 3/29/15 11:41 AM