In a Greyhound Station his last name
is read before my first
by the entrance attendant I hand my ticket to. Who
is kind & asks me “Why didn’t you bring
me breakfast?” It is 4 in the morning, I blush
to myself. Oedipus, I do not want
the older stranger inquiring
on his day’s first meal. I respond, “You
were bringing me breakfast today,” a snappy
teen in my gullet. Glum, but glinting
in my cheekiness extended
to the aged stranger who I knew
was Nigerian before his exhort of such. I don’t love
my father, but the Greyhound says, “Your name
is beautiful is it African?” & he means
& I cannot say I believe in love because
I love my father. No. That country stretched
itself large w/ new children. There is no room.
But I believe in love, 20th of January, even
`in a Greyhound bus station where
fluorescents blink to bleakness, even
as my home country inchoate
itches to slide me off its flag,
when I remember the Attendant in Atlanta
taught me hello in Ibo
when I told him I could not speak
my father’s language. Oh,
how the weeping followed.
This selection comes from the book, Sons of Achilles, available from YesYes Books. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Krista Cox.
Nabila Lovelace is a born and raised Queens native, as well as a first generation American. Her parents hail from Trinidad and Tobago and Nigeria. She currently resides in Tuscaloosa, AL. Her first collection, Sons of Achilles, released from YesYes Books in 2018. Nabila is a 2016 Poetry Witch Magazine Summer Solstice Bop Contest finalist, a 2016 Vinyl 45 Chapbook Contest finalist, 2015 Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop fellow, finalist for the Emerge-Be-Surface fellowship 2014, and a winner of the 2013 Poets & Writers Amy Award. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Narrative Northeast, Washington Square Review, Day One, Winter Tangerine: Hands Up Don’t Shoot, ESPN, & Vinyl. She is co-founder of The Conversation Literary Festival. Her editorial work includes screening for Callaloo Journal, assistant poetry editor at Black Warrior Review, & co-poetry editor for The Offing. twitter handle: @nabilas_here
Krista Cox’s an intersectional feminist and anti-racist activist, and acts as chair of the Leadership Council of the Feminist Humanist Alliance, a social justice adjunct organization of the American Humanist Association.
Krista’s poetry appears in many fine journals, and she’s presently seeking a publisher for her chapbook How to Kiss a Monster. She’s the Managing Editor of Doubleback Review, a fledgling online journal that features work previously published at now-defunct journals, and an Associate Poetry Editor at Stirring: A Literary Collection, the longest continuously-publishing online journal on the web. In 2016, Krista founded Lit Literary Collective, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that hosts affordable, accessible writing retreats and otherwise serves her local writing community. Krista received an honors BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Sometimes she draws fat unicorns and paints cute animals.
For the last 17 years, Krista has been a paralegal and legal assistant at a law firm specializing in environmental and insurance coverage law. She claims a 18 year-old bass player and 12 year-old anime cosplay aficionado as her kin and an [age redacted] Excel wizard as her partner. Their home is run by a mini schnauzer and three personality-diverse cats.sta-cox-86a11213’s profile on LinkedIn