The Coltrane Substitution (Naima) by Michelle R. Smith

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The Coltrane Substitution (Naima)

Jazz musicians are forgiven
The sin of several wives,

But their marriages
Must not be menial.

They must be art—
Ballads of rich, wrenching chords.

I eased the needle from his arm.

I prayed over his dumbed fingers.

I am the then-wife.

A tune built on suspended chords.

I am a pedal point—

The note that does not fit.






Michelle R. Smith is a mother, daughter, writer, teacher, lover, fighter, seeker, finder, sister, and outsider, living and working in Twinsburg, Ohio. She has had poems published in Poemmemoirstory, Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism, and Guide to Kulchur Creative JournalHer first published volume of poetry is Ariel in Black on Guide to Kulchur (GTK) Press.




Photo Credits:
GigNroll via / CC BY-SA