8 February 2007 | Vol. 6, No. 4

Only If

after Rose Piper's Slow Down Freight Train

If windy nights in

that blustering city

are unbearable and you find

work is not worth walking solo;

if you need the surety

of relentless kudzu

spreading miles along

country highways

and my musk scent has

lifted from my lace

negligee you took

because you needed

to remember why you're


if the salt-cured ham glazed

with honey is no longer

my sweet sweat on your

tongue and your fingertips

forget journeys along my

forever hips;

if you can find someone

to stew you neck bones and

when after a search for every

remnant of flesh your lips

covet the straight lines

of my neck

then, come back

come back home.

About the author:

DeLana Dameron, a native of Columbia, SC spends her days in Chapel Hill, North Carolina translating the world around her—forever trying to marry the historical and the literary. She is a Cave Canem fellow and a member of the Carolina African American Writer's Collective. She adores letters and can be reached at .

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by DeLana Dameron at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 6, No. 4, where "Only If" ran on February 8, 2007. List other work with these same labels: poetry, love poem, ekphrastic.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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