Shamar Harriott

Eight Days Without You


I texted
you didn’t answer.



I watched
A Streetcar Named Desire
and I christened myself
Blanche Dubois.
I walked
around saying, 
“Daylight never exposed
                  so total a ruin.”

I drove two miles to
get my dick sucked. 
I didn’t come—
I couldn’t stop
   thinking about you.
(I will tell you
    this story when I see you again;
    if I see you again.)



Natalie called.
She asked about you.
I told her
you were okay but
I didn’t say
it’s been two days since
I heard from you.

I did not tell her
I love you.

I did not tell her
I crave you.

Some things are
still sacred.

I turn
off the news—

Everybody here
is a fascist.

I call
you Stanley Kowalski
I say
I will not love you.

your name written
in fire across
my chest—
         sweet Incubus.



I never knew
I could ache this much.
I never knew
I could miss anyone this much.
I never knew
I could be this terrified.

I am shapeless
    without you.

It happened
so insidiously: 
colonized me.



2 a.m.

I am
in heat.

In five minutes
I will be



Loneliness ravages
like any flame, 
red lunacy consuming
my nakedness.

I call

I call
you Death, 
last bright peonies before
the tanks came.

I call
you Heathcliff,
ramshackle house
of anger.

I call
you disease, 
blood-borne virus
through the bones
of the living.

I call
you atomic bomb,
pink slaughter
in the west—

I tell the walls
I love you.
(I write the sonnet
I will sing when I see you again; 
if I see you again.)



is mythic in your absence.

Streets splinter
shards of memory. 

Your shadow
bleaches everything.

This place is
useless without you.

The sun rises
severed head on the horizon
and my body folds
into its own darkness.


My ears
attune to the absence
of your laughter.

dies in this silence, 

I wish
you would call.



Bomb-blasted void,
raw heart pulsing with shrapnel.

There are terrorists
in Barcelona. 

I am overtaken
by love, that red terror.

My bones splinter
beneath its belted wheels.

Do you care
            if I survive?

Do I care
            if you die?

(I will burn this
poem when I see you again;
if I see you again.)

Shamar Harriott is a Jamaican writer living in South Florida. He is the recipient of the 2017 Debra Vasquez Memorial Award for Excellence in Poetry. His work can also be found in Panku and Vagabond City. He likes mermaids and Joni Mitchell.