Scout & Birdie
Scout & Birdie

You descended from her womb, penultimately
12 years
Exactly just enough time to cushion our fall from the weight of her gravity.
Sister, who has no other name,
has been my Great Dame in times of despair.
When their words would ignite like crackling flames,
a blaze so voluminous it would tickle my toes at night,
ardently crashing my body with waves—I could only be soothed by Her touch,
She’d tell me if they’d die we’d take over the kingdom.
So we’d wade in their destruction, and reveling in inconspicuous whispers—
She’d rock me into a slumber so sweet.
Sister, who has no other name,
imparted her wisdom with mellifluous journeys to distant worlds of endless wonderment.
From tranquil, sun-kissed meadows to raucous, industrial playgrounds,
there were no ends to our delight.
And, when torment rained down upon us, She’d umbrella her locks to shield us from the wreckage, bellowing tunes that sent fiends fleeing.
See, You are the reason I am and have been and will be for it weren’t for You:
I’d have been engulfed by the flames of their rage—branded by deceit
I’d have been flat and insipid—an uncultured skin
I’d have been sent back to the starts—an unprevented accident.
And so for You, my Sister, who has no other name, I write this ode—
May it illuminate your path when you find that it has been shrouded by darkness
May it be your shelter from the rains of torment
May it be your joy, your saving grace as You’ve been to me throughout my race.
You descended from her womb, penultimately
12 years


just enough time

to cushion




About the artist...

Jerome Riley Jr. is a queer actor/ writer/ performer who is just trying to figure it out. They are a graduate of Columbia College Chicago, where they earned a BFA in Musical Theatre with a minor in Women & Gender Studies. They were most recently seen in the world premiere of Trevor the Musical at Writers Theatre and can also be seen every second Wednesday of the month at Berlin Night Club for the latinx night, Duro, where they perform with the queer performance group: The Chanels.

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