Darkness in The Margins | The New Engagement

Darkness in The Margins

By Lola Rainey
Darkness In The Margins poetry art


Sewed my own. Wedding dress. Simple. Cheap. Way you see. Me. Sitting in the corner. Frowned up. Mad. You settled. Skinny black girl. Short. Nappy hair. Baby belly. Wanna fight.


Wish I had. Rubber band arms.  Hug you. Standing downstairs.  Gonna fix something. Good. Fried chicken. Mashed potatoes. Brown gravy. Homemade biscuits. Know how it feels. Want a prize—get a turd.


Bring you beer. Take a sip.  Throw the can. Splatter suds. All over my dress.  It’s ok.  Been living off. Crumbs. Long time.


You. My husband.  Now.   Going downstairs.  Fix dinner.


Beautiful One



Hustling. Drinking. Fighting. Is your thing. Blind in one eye. Messing 'round

Lil' Agnes. Cracked your skull. Almost died. Too stubborn. Let life go easy.

Pulled the IVs out. Your scabby arms. Took the city bus here. Damn boy.

Breaks me down. See you so far gone. Take out a blunt. Smoke it all. Trying to say.

The words.  I SURRENDER. So get up. Off  my couch. Close the door. Don’t come

back. On cue. You unzip your skin. Shake dew. From rose petal limbs. Bathe me in

perfume. One thousand buds. Burst into bloom. You’re beautiful. Fills the room. Spills

into the hallway. Makes Ruby Jewel. Knock on the door. Pay back the ten dollars. She



Lola Rainey is a Southwestern based poet and storyteller. She started writing poetry roughly six years ago, and it has become her favorite form of creative expression due to the fact that her life in the desert "lends itself to introspection and quiet reflection". She considers herself a multi-cultural poet because she grew up in the racially and culturally diverse borderlands of Southern Arizona. Her travels to places like Southeast Asia and North Africa expanded her concept of family and altered her notions about "belonging"; "experiences that helped this daughter of the African Diaspora feel more rooted in the world". In 2015, she completed Callaloo Journal's Writer's Workshop held at Brown University. From Lola: "The experience was transformative. It forced me to rethink everything I thought I knew about poetry. I am grateful for the shattering of the old because I like the new poet emerging from those broken bits."

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On May 1st, we announced the winners of our Flash Fiction Contest: Thomas Garcia (1st), Rick Krizman (2nd), and Rios de la Luz (3rd). Read more.

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