What Flew Out of Aunt Hester’s Scream by Ashley M. Jones

her pretty face
                                                            the dawn
the men who ate it
summer, the plantation grass
                                                            fear, a golden scythe
the cotton bleeding pink
                            the way a dress unfolds
                                                        to a whip
                                                        to a man’s hands
                                                                                    which are
                                          blood           blood           blood           blood
                                                                                                                    Jesus           Mary           Joseph
her body, desire
her body, a slave
Ashley M. Jones received an MFA in Poetry from Florida International University (FIU), where she was a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Fellow. She served as Official Poet for the City of Sunrise, Florida’s Little Free Libraries Initiative from 2013-2015, and her work was recognized in the 2014 Poets and Writers Maureen Egen Writer’s Exchange Contest and the 2015 Academy of American Poets Contest at FIU. She was also a finalist in the 2015 Hub City Press New Southern Voices Contest, the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award Contest, and the National Poetry Series. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in The Academy of American Poets, Prelude, Steel Toe Review, Night Owl, The Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy, pluck!, Valley Voices: New York School Edition, Fjords Review: Black American Edition, PMSPoemMemoirStory, Kinfolks Quarterly, Lucid Moose Press’ Like a Girl: Perspectives on Femininity Anthology and others. She received a 2015 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and a 2015 B-Metro Magazine Fusion Award. Her debut poetry collection, Magic City Gospel, is forthcoming from Hub City Press in January 2017. She serves as an editor of PANK Magazine, and she currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama, where she is a faculty member in the Creative Writing Department of the Alabama School of Fine Arts.