When the Show Must Go On

my magic sparks
but doesn’t light

it is not so

your smile spreads
pretty, mine splits

a parlor trick
halving myself

you pull a dove
from a hat

i conjure
vultures, who peel

back the folds
of my autopsy

and eat the wound
of my life

the audience wants
a happier Black girl

an illusion
i haven’t mastered

no one gives you
time to practice

you’re just a bad witch,
left out

my power
still counts

i must be

of a spell, to intimidate
yet be so soft

i can pull awe deep
from the dark.

my way of joy,
how i shimmer.
medogTrina Young is a poet in Chicago. She has been published in Afterimage Online’s Inklight Gallery, Superstition Review, Burning House Press and placed third as a Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award Winner in the Illinois Emerging Writers Competition.. Her writing themes often include mental illness, marginalization, and the absurdity of life@tcyghoul

Featured photo credit: Amanda Ollinik  @Allunderonemoon