Imagine: A Love Song by Denise Miller


“Imagine: A Love Song” by Denise Miller

                 -for and “from” Sandra Bland

Imagine I am not fingernail
             scrapings— imagine I
am not neck,
or vagina or legs—
Imagine I, am
not a knot.

Imagine you are not a toe
tag. Not rubber band that
encircles     the right wrist.
Not a black     hooded, zip—
up sweatshirt (cut) black—
Not black            with white
lettering, blue jeans,
black— boxers (cut), two
black—        shoes        and two
black—          socks.

Imagine you
             are not tags
attached to both great
toes— ankles tied
together— a boy altered
by surgical
intervention— Imagine
you are not
a recovered bullet, metal jacketed
               moderately deformed,
at the nose— Now “TR”
                               inscribed on its base
Imagine? Instead?—

are        not
kidney, or head, or hands.
Imagine we— are not
unremarkable, not— skin as
thin or disposable or
ordinary as a plastic garbage bag.

Imagine us      not
on display      not
                             or pathologized

Imagine We—
backs, still
vertical— still alive.

               twisted until      made lethal.




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Denise Miller Artist Statement: 

Denise Miller is a professor, poet and mixed media artist whose publications include poems
in Dunes Review, African American Review and Blackberry: A Magazine . She’s the 2015
Willow Books Emerging Poet, an AROHO Waves Discussion Fellowship awardee, a finalist for
the Barbara Deming Money for Women Fund, and a Hedgebrook Fellow. Her newest book,
Core, released from Willow Books in November 2015 has been nominated for a 2016 American
Book Award and a 2016 Pushcart Prize. Additionally, one of her poems from a collection in
progress has also been nominated for the 2016 Pushcart Prize. Miller has also been recently
named the Fall 2016 Willow Books Writer In Residence in conjunction with the Carr Center
Detroit and the NEH. More of her work can be found

Author: A Room of Her Own

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