Featured Artist & Poet: Justin Rogers

Matilda visits a Well of Empty Buckets

“They’re all still alive in you.”

                          – Taylor Steele

 

Scene – Matilda can’t clean the house in the dark

 

Matilda’s fingers are wands

willing the whole house

bleach itself sinless

 

The scary part about magic

is when everything is spotless

except the witch it comes from

 

The fun part about darkness

is the adrenaline – how the anxiety

asks the eyes to find filth on

 

anything to help the hands

ignore the lightless body – the clutter

flesh houses.

 

Scene – Matilda visits the Well

 

Or

Matilda visits herself

with a bucket full of weed

smoke & comes back with nothing

 

Or

Matilda visits her lungs

with a bucket full of second winds

& comes back with a bucket full of nevermind

 

Or

Matilda visits her palms

with a bucket full of career choices

& comes back with handfuls of dead skin

 

Or

Matilda visits her mouth

with a bucket full of silent

& doesn’t leave

 

Scene – Matilda is a Well

handing out buckets of disappearing acts

handing out bleached bones & keeping

the filthy rags, the anxiety still alive

dishes still washing mid-air

mouth still silent; a body

of empty

 

self portrait by Justin Rogers

 

Justin Rogers is a poet, educator, coach and Pushcart Prize nominee from the city of Detroit, Michigan. Rogers is an advocate for literacy among inner-city youth, and the amplification of Black voices. Performing around the Mid-West and coordinating after school intensive creative-writing programming with InsideOut Literary Arts, Rogers actively shares poems surrounding living and growing as a Black man in America. Rogers most recently has work published or forthcoming in Tinderbox, Mobius Magazine, Apiary Magazine, 3 Elements Review, Skip-Fiction, Gramma Press and Public Pool. Rogers also is an editor with Wusgood Magazine and an Adult Advisor for the youth-led arts journal, Underscore Review.

If you like what you read here, check out the interview we did with him last year.

About Kelsey May
Kelsey May is a graduate of Grand Valley State University and Editor in Chief of SkipFiction. She is passionate about social justice and activism, especially with issues of consent and sexual abuse or misconduct. Her work has appeared in over two dozen publications, including Broken Plate and NonBinary Review. She has also received numerous grants and awards, including a nomination for a 2016 Pushcart Prize. She would like to thank her husband, Bob, for his undying support of her ideas and career.
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