Issue 1 > Walls of Time after Buddy Wakefield by Amani Breanna Alexander As best as I could remember, This is how it happened... There are still stains On the walls of the room To the left Where I branded the pathway For any man To try and claim a woman from that house Again. There were three men That fondled with the carpet And thought I wouldn’t Make fire out of their feet. They all knew They were not allowed to drag the rugged Of their souls into my mother’s room, Or her heart, Or her mouth, Or her body. In 1996, One man kept out of her room After making a bruised drought of her body And took me too. It was winter. He used the snow as an excuse To keep me from the ice Of my mother’s shoulder. He didn’t want me to get sick. I was winter born To live with the cold of his mouth And her shoulder Every year. That snowed in day after Christmas Was still cold the next August. But I was built for the frost. Both my parents were icebergs. In 2000, A man bought biscuits, The cheesy ones. The ones your aunties take out From Red Lobster. He bought his way into my stomach And took a life from my mother’s. He satisfied the hunger. He satisfied the need. I didn’t know him a few months later. There was lighter fluid In my memory Where his body once stood. I prayed that a woman Would take from him What he did from my mother. He ran too fast for me. But there is always fire Waiting for him Here. In 2002, Some guy came back around. We only knew him through letters. He got here And thought he’d be able to Wrap his body around my mother Like he meant something to these walls But he did. He painted the room with her voice After dark. I heard it. I heard her bend for him And realized that my mother was human. She had needs She had soft places She just wanted to be loved Like me. And he loved her. Only daughters realize they are selfish After their mother’s fall in love. She told me what he’d done. How he marked his DNA into her womb And everyday, We sat by her body And waited. Only daughters realize they are selfish When their mother’s open Their bodies to more children. In 2003, My brother left my mother’s body And threatened to take her life with him. I promised I’d never give Any piece of myself to him. He was another man. He was another one that wanted my mother. Walls and men Both reminded me of the pieces Of my mother that I lost. I’d fall in love with you, If you could love me like my mother used to.