Unreality in Which You Get to Be a Black Father

by Yve Mitchell

I’m priestly, protecting you
in my orb of light
down every aisle.

My tiny hand wants your
huge one this once—

let me adore you.

Bless this reverie,
you’d stop me from playing
with the scoop in the beans
knocked me flush, unnoticeable, alive.

Now I’ll kneel, inconveniencing,
to tie your bootlaces come undone
they’re caked with Earth
from our perfect hotbed

I wish I could show off
your kneeling at dusk, once,
watching with sensitivity the beds settle.

People want to know you for the first
time in history.
I imagine a break—
a soft turning,
the collective resplendent, repentant.

We test the cherries for sweetness.

Small Break


I told you I was nobody’s daughter
loud enough for your third ear
wanting to work the feeling like
working a tooth, against its cathartic edge.

Someone I love wasn’t going to show
& I’d known it all along. Dave Letterman
held Billie Eilish just a beat in her soft
sweat suit & I brought the felt sense

like a child bringing an old screw from
the yard to mommy & mommy isn’t moved.

I was ill; we don’t touch.

I can take subtle; they say it’s implicit.
Be safe out there lapping your throat,
brimming your eyes,

a lean like a wish in this wrong place,
                                                      wrong time.

Yve Mitchell grew up in the West and landed in Asheville twenty years ago. She has been writing since childhood and graduated from UNCA’s literature department in 2008. Her twin loves are poetry and psychology, and she’ll begin a graduate program in clinical mental health counseling early this winter. When she’s not writing, reading, or busy raising her teenage daughter, she enjoys hiking our glorious mountains and seeking quiet places to rest and meditate.