Hailey June Gross

after Jericho Brown and SZA 


lie by myself at night, let hands trace lips, puzzle-
piece together the tips—what i really mean is they dip in my pussy.

stop ’em in their tracks, make eye contact
use your chest when you say the name pussy.

broken bodies leave arms outstretched, pray—praise the lord, beg
for this body’s forgiveness. shakin’ ass in the club

to men makin’ bets singing praise for all the glory-
-yes pussy. makin’ love, makin’ wet, takin’ down, countin’ up

all the soon to get love to get it up for the up for grabs pussy.
thank you yes yes yes for all of her raptures

waves she becomes, the rupture between us
for more glory and yes and do you remember

a time you were more
than a body. an opening in time, immaculate space, walking

in prayers at night more than a promise of sweet
pussy. to feel her more i try walking with my head upright,

let the sun pray for us, feel her run through my body say yes
say yes by myself at night make myself light move

my hips more to the sounds in my chest 
yes to me and her and whisper forgiveness

and yes only always yes to more of me and this
body unearthing. my god is a woman

and she loves
when i remember her name


Hailey June Gross is a writer, editor, and educator from Los Angeles. Currently in the MFA Poetry program at San Diego State University, she has received support from the Sarah B. Marsh-Rebelo Scholarship for Poetry as well as the Prebys Poetry and Creative Writing Endowed Scholarship. Her poems can be found or are forthcoming in phoebe, Harpur Palate, Laurel Review, Sonora Review, Zone 3, and elsewhere. She is currently the Nonfiction Editor at the Los Angeles Review.

Artwork: “Prism” by Peyton Fultz


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