Featured Poems: Othello and Desdemona | Dan and Alex

Erica Dawson

Erica Dawson

Othello and Desdemona

The film.  You know, where Laurence Fishburne’s good
And black-man angry, Kenneth’s Branagh’s still
Hamlet though Iago, and Desdemona should
Have a real name, but who gives a fuck.
The thrill
Is gone and what remains is plain old bestial.
You’ve got the native act dead on its back,
A dried out bone—smooth, white, celestial
As Desdemona’s skin—and stars, and black
Of blackest nights.
I should be satisfied.
But there’s still more. Each bone has a throat.  That throat’s
Choked closed, filled with our life’s own certified
Delicacy wet as the throat it coats.
And bone is all we are—staged and rehearsed.
The fun is we don’t know who’ll kill whom first.

Dan and Alex

Your weekend plans?  Alex, you let him tap
It half down in your sink.  Let him get up in
Your elevator.  Dan, you let her cap
The weekend off with bloody wrists. A chin
And a curl, this is how boy meets girl and girl
Goes wild underneath eight million black
Umbrellas, storied high rises, the curl
Of runoff.  You just got to love a back
Alley where shadows hide, and even crowds
Will let you cop a feel.  Nobody cares.
But in the middle of the day, light’s spy
On us and we like it. And even loud’s
Not loud enough when we get it on the stairs
Until the pigeons give it up and fly.

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