Interior Image

Aricka Foreman

Years: 2008, 2010, 2012


Aricka Foreman is a writer, editor and educator from Detroit, MI. Her poems and essays have appeared in The Offing, Buzzfeed, Vinyl, RHINO, The Blueshift Journal, Day One, shuf Poetry, James Franco Review, THRUSH, Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poems for the Next Generation (Viking Penguin), among others. Author of the chapbook Dream with a Glass Chamber (YesYes Books), she has received support from Cave Canem, Callaloo, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. She currently lives in Chicago, IL.  


Still Life of Acme in Spring

for francine and Detroit


From my mouth, forgive me: friend, woman.

When I said there are no flowers here, I forgot

to mention the bloom of lace around a young girl’s


ankle at Easter, her peony shaped afro puffs,

the carnelian carnations pinned to dresses to honor

mothers not lost. Spectrum of May collected from


Eastern Market, rowed in mismatched rainbows

in red wagons or inside the phantom box of a son’s

arms. I forget the cured meat spread out from the black


barrel of a barbeque, bushel of yarn sopped with sauce,

unlike the gauze full of blood from a young boy’s head.

Dear God the plankton of music dying our faces in the hot


summer streets, fever of jazz, blush of blues: raw heart

confront me. This city, always in my face. Bouquet of

incense, apothecaries with shea and oils. Give a dollar


and I’ll show you a conductor, his white bucket symphony.

No I haven’t forgotten the fire, molotov shards spreading

orange and gold flames as a field of dahlia across our


living room licking my mother’s heels, the heroine wolf

dragging me from my bed. I don’t blame the addict

who didn’t know which house to huff and blow down,


or the firemen arriving late. And yes, angels too.

A neighbor who let me, knees pressed to sternum, watch

from his porch as our house ashed itself clean. We have


to see the truth of things. Did I say there was no flora here?

No pollen shaken from the anthers round head?

The yellow dust settling in the cracks of windshield?

I meant: give me a hardened plot. I’ll dig to the rich black.



(Originally published in issue 85 of The Collagist)