Nicole Terez Dutton


Nicole Terez Dutton's work has appeared in Callaloo, Ploughshares, 32 Poems, Indiana Review and Salt Hill Journal.  Nicole earned an MFA from Brown University and has received fellowships from the Frost Place, the Fine Arts Work Center, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her collection of poems, If One Of Us Should Fall, was selected as the winner of the 2011 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. She teaches in the Solstice Low-Residency MFA Program and is the Editor of the Kenyon Review. Source

Magnitude and Bond

More than anything, I need this boy

so close to my ears, his questions


electric as honeybees in an acreage

of goldenrod and aster. And time where


we are, slow sugar in the veins

of white pine, rubbery mushrooms


cloistered at their feet. His tawny

listening at the water’s edge, shy


antlers in pooling green light, while

we consider fox prints etched in clay.


I need little black boys to be able to be

little black boys, whole salt water galaxies


in cotton and loudness—not fixed

in stunned suspension, episodes on hot


asphalt, waiting in the dazzling absence

of apology. I need this kid to stay mighty


and coltish, thundering alongside

other black kids, their wrestle and whoop,


the brightness of it—I need for the world

to bear it. And until it will, may the trees


kneel closer, while we sit in mineral hush,

together. May the boy whose dark eyes


are an echo of my father’s dark eyes,

and his father’s dark eyes, reach


with cupped hands into the braided

current. The boy, restless and lanky, the boy


for whom each moment endlessly opens,

for the attention he invests in the beetle’s


lacquered armor, each furrowed seed

or heartbeat, the boy who once told me


the world gives you second chances, the boy

tugging my arm, saying look, saying now.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:





Childhood & Coming of Age

Faith & Hope


Racial Injustice

Literary Devices:


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


two lines of verse, usually in the same meter and joined by rhyme, that form a unit


visually descriptive or figurative language, especially in a literary work


a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic


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