Nicole Sealey
Virginia is for Lovers

At LaToya’s Pride picnic, 

Leonard tells me he and his longtime 

love, Pete, broke up. 

He says Pete gave him the house 

in Virginia. “Great,” I say,

“that’s the least his ass could do.”

I daydream my friend and me

into his new house, sit us in the kitchen

of his three bedroom, two bath 

brick colonial outside Hungry Mother Park,

where, legend has it, the Shawnee raided

settlements with the wherewithal 

of wild children catching pigeons. 

A woman and her androgynous child

escaped, wandering the wilderness, 

stuffing their mouths with the bark

of chokecherry root. 

Such was the circumstance 

under which the woman collapsed. 

The child, who could say nothing 

except hungry mother, led help 

to the mountain where the woman lay—

swelling as wood swells in humid air.

Leonard’s mouth is moving. 

Two boys hit a shuttlecock back and forth

across an invisible net. 

A toddler struggles to pull her wagon

from a sandbox. “No,” Leonard says, 

“It’s not a place where you live. 

I got the H In VH I—”

Before my friend could finish, 

and as if he’d been newly ordained,  

I took his hands and kissed them.

Found In Volume 43, No. 05
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Nicole Sealey
About the Author

Born in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. and raised in Apopka, Florida, Nicole Sealey is a Cave Canem graduate fellow and the recipient of a 2014 Elizabeth George Foundation Grant.