Zaji Cox: Three Poems

The Turning


I stand in-between,
knowing and not knowing
of shifting leaves
against a turning season’s skies,
trees that shed
or bloom with abandon
hugging nests that are
not quite built,
in a forest that is
not quite grown.
Grass in its greenest curls around my feet
in a tangled embrace.

A home in the not-quite-grown
I have found in the forest’s youth.
Perhaps I am here
because I see a self.
Perhaps I am here
to wait,
and hoping
for a yield to a growth both wild
and new.





down my skin

I am exposed

it’s too hot:

Heat exhaustion—I can’t cover myself any more,
but I am compelled
because of the eyes like beads.
And women.
Too many. I can’t be out here
I will faint from the heat
or the eyes
like sweat.


down my

bare skin.

Too hot, it is too hot.




The lie lives in my body.

Water is redundant while in constant redefiniton.
Desire to become it, to become
washed free of my deception;
to create new rivulets
where I have created untruths,
rests on me:
shame’s adolescence.

One rule, eroded.

I came like an eel,
dark and sleek from the periphery.
Guilt claims us both—
I refuse it in full—
but the rule needed two to break.

My redefinition weighs heavy as sand.

Torrid waves weave Ocean’s new self,
and indifferent.
I pray for its guidance;
it shuns me and weaves.

On and on, it creates its constant truth.

On and on I weave redundant,
to seek my constant truth.

What are you looking for?