A Study in Loss: Three Poems by Denisio Truitt

by Denisio Truitt


When our love was
sapling green
you told the tale
of how an ex-love
took scissors
to your waist length dreads
one night,
freeing ropes of matted hair
from your slumbered head
with tears in her eyes.

You awoke
Just as she worked on the fifth
And stopped her determined fingers
The next day you sat for hours
In a bathroom mirror
using a surgeon's precision to reattach the missing limbs
with bits of glue and thread.

That night as we lay
I searched
through blackness
for your locs
placed it on my pillow,
inhaled beeswax as I dreamt

It would be five years
when scissors
would once again
be put to your scalp

only this time it was
your determined fingers
freeing you from your former self
the one I fell for at the edges of summer.

Broken Things

You laughed,
told me once
you had a habit of dating
crazy girls
and how glad you were
to find someone more stable.

I joined your laughter
thinking how sad it must have been
to deal with
such unstable creatures.

At the end of us
when I became your craziest girl
I realized that it was you
who was insane.

You needed to fix things.
little projects to distract you
from your own brokenness.
Repeatedly, you sought us out
cracked vessels
each marred and chipped
from a life too rough
with our delicate frames.
Repeatedly you failed,
grew frustrated and
abandoned your unfinished works

I laughed then
at your well intentioned
we never needed your fixing
your improvements
your sanding at our sharp edges
all we needed
was to be loved
for the beautiful imperfections
we are.

* * *

To Olivia or Solomon
You would be seven,
maybe eight by now.
The moth eaten years
are difficult to hold onto
but the feeling
of your presence
inside of me
remains fresh, clean,
exacting as a paper cut.

I felt capable,
firm in my heavy breasts
and in my resolve to raise
you into black brilliance.

The possibility of your life
gave validity to my own
I hoped you would save me, save us
help him love me
just a little more —
help me love
the piece of him he
mistakenly let go of
inside me.

How was I to know
you needed guidance so early on?
I would have told you
the spot you chose
was not where little ones grow.

I would have pleaded,
"I know the journey's rough.
I know you're tired.
Just a little further
you'll find safer shelter.
Not here,
God, please not here!”

It was that single cramp
the pierced lightning in my side
one evening while
peeling small potatoes
that let me know
you were meant for an instant.

You were a lesson in love and loss
wrapped up in gauze
and endless years
of missing what never was.

Denisio Truitt is a Liberian-American writer and artist currently residing in New Orleans. She is the founder of DOPEciety, a T-shirt and apparel company that has branched out to include event production and curation featuring emerging artists. She is currently working on her first collection of poetry, entitled Broken Things, which will debut in the spring. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter: @denisiotruitt. You can also visit her website: www.dopeciety.com.