Skully by Jacqueline Jones LaMon


Move quickly through a dangerous course, avoiding opponents, or blasting them clear out of the game zone. Always seek the safety of home bases. Complete the basic level and get transformed into a being with the power to eliminate your competitors.

    ~Skully Central


I am sorry I flicked my bottle cap, edges up,
straight across your bedroom, so it would glide
far, but not do damage. I didn’t want to get us in
trouble, to do anything to bring our mothers

to the door of the playroom, not after their after-
noon of flowing six-packs, punchbowls, and fifths.

But there they were, holding our next
round of Cokes, the bottles shapely as all
the ladies in the living room, quenching
our thirst for attention by checking in on us.

My mother was in awe of you and your twin
sister—such beautiful blonde hair, wavy and thick,

such gorgeous grey-green eyes, skin the warm color
of well-polished pine, with outfits that never showed
wrinkles, anklets that never sank into the heels
of your shoes. And when she looked at me, her smile

fixed as she said, Yes, that I was beautiful,
too. Even though my eyes were crossed. Even

though my thighs were thick. Even though
my knees held onto the dark and my hair had a won’t
of its own. When I was six-years-old, I wanted
to mar your smooth surface. Forgive me this history,

this passing along of pain. I wanted to create scars
on your body, and tripped you to see where you’d land. 

Click here for PDF. 

Contributor Notes

Jacqueline Jones LaMon is the author of two collections, Last Seen, a Felix Pollak Poetry Prize selection, and Gravity, U.S.A., recipient of the Quercus Review Press Poetry Series Book Award; and the novel, In the Arms of One Who Loves Me.  A graduate of Mount Holyoke College and UCLA School of Law, Ms. LaMon earned her M.F.A. in Creative Writing, Poetry, from Indiana University Bloomington.

Ms. LaMon’s work has appeared in a wide variety of publications such as Ninth Letter, Mythium, Bellevue Literary Review, Callaloo, and Crab Orchard Review. Noted by the NAACP in the category of Outstanding Literary, Poetry,  Ms. LaMon is the recipient of a host of honors for her commitment to university teaching, her social and literary criticism, as well as for her creative work. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and teaches at Adelphi University.