The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Summertime Fine by Jason B Crawford

sonnet for the black body turn ghost

We give black boys so much grief for their bones
Rip the teeth from the gum and let them hang
What body of melanin does not drown?
Search for a life raft to rescue the skin,
the mouth, the eyes, the hair, the culture lost
Don’t love songs still end in a funeral?
We sing the songs about our children gone
The dust in an empty room left behind
The marching on stolen soil last so long
And yet those children never return home
We chant/and chant/and cry/and chant/and chant
and chant/and chant/and chant/and chant/and chant
And still the boy stays in the ground all bone

This selection comes from Summertime Fine, available from Variant Literature. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.

JASON B. CRAWFORD (He/They) is a black, nonbinary, bi-poly-queer writer born in Washington DC,
raised in Lansing, MI. In addition to being published in online literary magazines, such as High Shelf Press,
Wellington Street Review, Poached Hare, The Amistad, Royal Rose, and Kissing Dynamite, he is the Chief Editor for The Knight’s Library. Jason is a cofounder of the Poetry Collective MMPR, a group of poets who came together for laughs, bad memes, and nerd culture. He is also the recurring host of the poetry section for Ann Arbor Pride. Crawford has his Bachelors of Science in Creative Writing from Eastern Michigan University.

Nilsa Rivera Castro writes about gender and diversity issues. She’s also the Managing Editor of The Wardrobe and the Non-Fiction Editor of Doubleback Review. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens Literary Journal, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, Selkie Literary Magazine, and Writing Class Radio. She’s currently an MFA Nonfiction candidate at Vermont College of Fine Art and lives in Riverview, Florida.


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