Two Poems by Jameela Dallis

for Mary Prince

not just the sting of the whip, the nothingcoloredblue of the ocean
or the spaces so dark and putrid and red black brown fleshsmelling
or thrusts of the men alltheshes were forced to bathe
       and the children alltheshes were forced to birth, bury, and see carted off because mistress hates that bitch with olive skin and thick silky plaits

but the time before the ocean

are memories of past lives memories of
ancestors’ lives— are my offerings enough?
what do our ancestors want?

I, Origin
for and after Lien Truong

Himalayan black salt
and pink rare salmon swim into
the silver threads of

How long has this summer
black with death drug on
into lavender swaths of
audacious unconventional beauty?

About Jameela Dallis

Jameela F. Dallis is a multidisciplinary writer, scholar, artist, and professional tarot reader. Formerly a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Elon University and UNC-Greensboro, she has publications in Indy WeekDecoded: A Duke Performances Journal, and Our State magazine. She holds a Ph.D. in English from UNC-Chapel Hill.