Author: Michael Jefferson

Michael Jefferson is a 20 year old undergraduate at the University of Connecticut. His work has been published in TheNewerYork and The Long River Review.

Call Again

I was with a bunch of white kids, so what
were the chances of getting caught?

Rolling blunts on the Fairway, better
people when we’re drunk
and truthfully, I like you…enough to ignore
my father when
he calls. And you tell me that you
miss me and I tell me that I don’t.

We have been doing this for tempos,
chasing sirens into bluffs. While
my cousin calls me hopeless, fall
For girls that never fall and I
tell him that it’s everything. It’s every—

Stumble
on. In the Fall we are texting.
I told you that my grandpa passed
you say nothing at all.
Lent a book that changed your world
I never read it, it
was long and I am trying, I
am trying to jog in place and level off. 


Call again to do this wrong.
You say you want to stumble,
get married, grow

whole. And I am thinking of not having children,
dreaming of telling you off. You are crying in my car.

I say nothing at all.

Elm City Blues

When the puritans settled,
they took bodies by the bundle.
Red skin sacked away in sacks
like the bags I carried when
the McIntosh wept.

I’ve never seen a Pequot,
But I’ve watched the Mill
churn; like it must’ve when
they scoured for fish or for clay,
whatever my teacher
said. I can’t remember.

What I remember:
Digging for blue rocks behind
a house my mother grew up in.
Eating Raman noodles raw
like chips, teaching my brother
how to curse, learning to tie my shoes,
etching my name for the first time
in a desk my grandma left
behind. She died next door,
my cousin thought she was sleep.

There are castle-coated buildings
From Broadway to State,
with mountains on
either side with autumn leaves
that dress them as though it were
Halloween; every year they’re apples,
I guess you’re never too old.
And there is a boy named Keith
dreaming of drug lords in the woods.
He practiced shots against rocks,
splintered down trees, and when the hurricane
came he robbed his neighbors all blind,
boasted about it, they gave him bullets
in the back. He told them “start
throwing stones.”

Every year they throw stones,
leaving holes in mothers
and their babies, unborn.
A bunch of bodies catching bodies
through wintered iron sights.
My city is a checkerboard
with no kings in the back row.