An Angel Considers His Fallen Brother

An Angel Considers His Fallen Brother
Lyrik Courtney

damson plums skimmed the top
of the chain link fence, hanging heavy
off the branches’ fingers like exclamation points
askew. you sat heavy, straddling a branch
with your legs spread wide, collar
of your white shirt popped

to show off the halo
tattooed into
your skin ages ago while you lay there, hollering.
“nice weather,” you’d said to yourself,
raspy like you couldn’t quite get your forked tongue
around the consonants without spitting up
smoke, and maybe you couldn’t – i saw the sparks

catching on the tips of your brown fingers,
the sharply-split corners of your mouth where
it creased in a not-quite smile, saying,
come closer, tell me your secrets,
do bad things for me.
and it makes sense
let you go,

because watching you there,
peeling plums with your sleeves rolled up
until your wrists were running wet with juice,
mouth laughter-stained, [half fallen
off the branch you’d made a throne-]


you could say i knew
hunger, too.


Lyrik Courtney is a high school senior and native Floridian who sits at the cultural intersection of African-American and nonbinary gender. They’ve found that the nature of their existence is oftentimes disorienting, and hope to channel that sense of deviance into their writing. Their work is also forthcoming in the fall issue of Polyphony H.S, and you can find them, tweeting, at @lyrik_c.