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Jerika Marchan

Jerika Marchan is the author of SWOLE (Futurepoem, 2018), her debut book. She was born in Manila, Philippines, and raised in the American South. A graduate of Louisiana State University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she lives in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Jerika Marchan
Photo credit: Dane Cooper and Jen Hayes

By This Poet


[A Crumb in the Cobblestone—Tell Me This Landscape Darkened Without You]

Say despite all the churches with their unlocked doors
and outstretched strangers’ palmskin, I hungered still

—squandered when, fell through like a crumb, I sat waiting
for discovery or disintegration—something marvelous
teething at the surface—a crumb, devotional, religious ecstatic
closer to being worthy

Desire me ruthless and naked but still in my Sunday dress 
you opened the window—we humid and slept open
into dreaming, yes, conduit. Conduit or nothing. Conduit
or bust. Nothing or busted. Hug the breakwater’s edge

more the grit, my fingers—whorl, the inches of all 
concrete make miles of this low, walled city.  

Pretend expansive with me like ocean.

River.  Lake.  Bodies.