I leave to my son a good memory—
his father lifting him onto the back of a pony
walked through Jersey waves
that lick the city’s edge like a cherry cone,
the dusk sky cheering his bravery with
plum and orange bannered onto clouds
trailing across the surf’s reflection.
I hope he remembers
how he slipped from the saddle
into my arms without a promise to catch him,
that he never once asked for his mama
between mouthfuls of Coneys,
as he hid the burn in his eyes
from the spicy mustard he begged to try.
I hope he knows there was more to me than
the stories he will hear,
mutterings between shots of gin
illegally poured and overflowing around him
like the tide swelling with bodies
washed from the edge of a bar stool,
or those who followed a lifeless moon
guiding their way to the waiting end of my gun.
—Two-time Pushcart Prize and Kentucky Poet Laureate nominee, Sheri L. Wright is the author of six books of poetry, including The Feast of Erasure. Wright’s award-winning photography has appeared in numerous journals, including Blood Orange Review, Prick of the Spindle and Subliminal Interiors. In 2012, Ms. Wright was a contributor to the Sister Cities Project Lvlds: Creatively Linking Leeds and Louisville. Her photography has been shown across the Ohio Valley region and abroad. Currently, she is at work on her non-profit documentary film, Tracking Fire, which chronicles an unsolved arson that claimed 32 lives—the worst mass killing in LGBT history in the U.S.