Etta James

submitted by Sabyne Pierre '20

Etta James plays next on Pandora Shuffle and
I take the comb out of my hair to laugh— 
as if the two things couldn’t happen together at the same time
like you.
The light hits the blue duvet and makes everything around you turn from white to sky
you look heavenly,
and a fog of happiness still makes everything go
your hands find their own solace on the surface of my skin,
and your fingertips
they flutter
blue jays on a spring morning,
you say,
“This feels so much like a dream.”

Words escape my very being,
and in that moment,
every daydream,
every moment of hope from a time when we would forget sleep’s address,
every shared memory of you and that smile—
that smile—
Like birds,
they all carry the words back into my mouth

and I say, 
“I know.”


This piece was submitted to The Collective–a space for students outside of the Black Praxis staff to share their thoughts, opinions, and perspectives. The views expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect those of Black Praxis and its staff. To submit something of your own, e-mail