Saeed Jones


Poet Saeed Jones was born in Memphis and raised in Lewisville, Texas. His poems engage themes of intimacy, race, and power, and often incorporate elements of mythology. Jones is the author of the memoir How We Fight for Our Lives (2019), which one the Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction. His debut poetry collection, Prelude to Bruise (2014), received a starred review in Publishers Weekly, which described the book as “a fever dream, something akin to magic.” Prelude to Bruise was named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award. Jones earned a BA at Western Kentucky University and an MFA at Rutgers University-Newark. He has received a Pushcart Prize and has also been awarded fellowships from Cave Canem and Queer/Art/Mentorship. He is co-host of Buzzfeed’s AM to DM show, and he lives in New York City. Source 

A Spell to Banish Grief

Only when you wake to a fistful of pulled hair

on the floor beside your bed and, from a glance,

can guess its weight, when you study dried tear

streaks on your cheeks like a farmer figuring out

where the season went wrong, when a friend calls

out your name three or four times before you know

your name is yours, when your name fits like clothes

you’ve suddenly outgrown, when there is too much

of you, too few of you, too you of you, and the mirrors

wish all of you would just look away, when the clocks

can’t feel their hands and the calendars begin to doubt

themselves, when you begin to agree with the glares

from mirrors but your reflection follows you around

the house anyway, when you catch yourself drunk

on memory, candles lit, eyes closed, your head tilted

in the direction of cemetery grass, yellow and balding

above what’s left of the body that birthed you, and you

try to remember the sound of laughter in her throat

and fail, only then, orphan, will I take all my selves

and leave.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Death & Loss

Literary Devices:


a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences


The repetition of similar vowel sounds that takes place in two or more words in proximity to each other within a line; usually refers to the repetition of internal vowel sounds in words that do not end the same.

Internal Rhyme

A rhyme involving a word in the middle of a line and another at the end of the line or in the middle of the next.

Interrupted Clause

a word group (a statement, question, or exclamation) that interrupts the flow of a sentence and is usually set off by commas, dashes, or parentheses


the attribution of human qualities to a non-human thing


a comparison between two unlike things using the words “like” or “as”