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"prayers for the namesake" by Jamilla VanDyke-Bailey



in your grandfather’s knotted old rolex,

i left a piece of myself in the reflection.


there’s sadness in the grime of that mirror;

rub your fingertips on the brass and there’s

pink lotion, bacon grease and salty stink.


but if you scrub it clean with stale prayers

below the glass there is a revelation —

it’s everything i didn’t have vocal chords for,

all of the secrets, half truths and promises.


other than you and the dog, it’s all i own.

it’s all i have. and i can’t hold onto it anymore.


when i die, burn it and free all our namesakes.



Jamilla VanDyke-Bailey is a 27-year-old, Black feminist living with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and bipolar disorder II. She uses her writing to give a voice to the trauma that is often suffered in silence and to bring a sense of belonging amongst the misfits. She has had work published in The Southhampton Review, K’in Literary Journal, and Oddball Magazine, amongst others

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