for Sakia Gunn

Sakia, if you had the weapon of your last name,
I would not know you. This steady scrape
against paper to transport fecund lament, never.
If in your hands the pearl-handled gun

my stepfather kept in the broom closet—
I'd give you the aim I practiced at twelve.
“Home is where the heart is” marks an
average man’s forehead and the trashcan
is somewhere near his jewels.

If you brought me roses in high school,
wrapped in newspaper to protect me from thorns,
I would take them, and wash ink from my fingers
in the jeans and jersey flood of your girlboy body.
Let me be your girl.

4-evah 2 eternity onto my back.
Your finger's ballpoint end, again and again
practices the heart over i, and into the morning
we stash whispers where over thread, thread crosses.
I promise

I have impeccable aim.
Pulling a trigger loosens mustangs
in your veins. Piss into my mortar—an old war
recipe makes bullets complete. Let your shower
wash an asshole from the streets.

If blood quickly betrays its avenues
for Newark's sidewalks, his shirt tires of its thirst....
If his buddy drives him to the hospital
or leaves him to watch the night unspool—
what a Jacob's Ladder he makes...

If you're shocked your life requires this exchange,
come into my arms, Sakia. Come into my arms.

from You're the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened (Augury Books, 2016) by Arisa White. Copyright © 2016 by Arisa White. Used with permission of the author.