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Qiana U.S. Towns

Years: 2007, 2009, 2011


Qiana Towns earned a MFA from Bowling Green State University, and a MA from Central Michigan University where she served as poetry editor for the online literary journal Temenos. Her work has appeared in Tidal Basin, Milk Money, and is currently featured at She is a Cave Canem fellow and Assistant Editor for Willow Books and Poetry Editor for Reverie: Midwest African American Literature.


Desperately Seeking My Name is Not Susan



I’ve been meaning

to re-answer your ad

for love, Love.

Another way to look at it is to taste it.

Consume seven pineapples in a sitting

and wait for the acid to take your tongue.


Truth is, I’ve had too many

beers to care about meaning, too much

red wine to know the difference

between man and sliver. Hell, I’m no Madonna.


Look, all you really need

to know is if Mississippi is the opening

of a thousand drying river beds.


‘Cause the sun’s been promising

to return, and when it does

some woman in Michigan will shiver

and wait to feed you the blacks of her desperate eyes.

She is not me.


When you are gone, I will call out to a shadow

that is you. I will sing the lonesome girl’s prayer with new

lyrics/. Say, I’ll be better off without you in the end.