Sherrel McLafferty


Angie Kang

I Dreamed of Beyoncé

Sherrel McLafferty

Are you tired         she pressed
her fingers against my scalp
I was so small       a child
being washed by her mother

She absorbed me into her chest
her ribs     a hand     grasped around a stone
this body is yours         she offered it to me

exposed gloss        a canyon of women
                      crawling        on elbows and belly
I entered guttural sound     her voice
remained above     away     booming

volume overtook words     the women of the walls
reached out     each arm a tree
I could choose to hang from
each smile     the moon
surely each was an ancestor

They housed me     Together we sang the song
                                                the unknowable song
that leaves the body like erupted limbs
                                                   the song of magma
                                                     the song of hunger
Remember the song we drank
from our mothers     before we were grown

Remember I held a white boy between my legs
He filled me with my own name   I was starved
and didn’t know it

Yonce!     Sasha!
How long has your name belonged to you
Let me call you    Let me feed you    before it is gone
and it will leave you
                                      as it will leave all of us
We know     We taste it     from skin    to bone
black and alive      black and woman
the radioactive joy of being

Sherrel McLafferty is a multi-genre writer who resides in Bowling Green, OH. Her fiction piece “In the Time of Virus” was a finalist for Booth’s Unexpected Literature Prize and received a Pushcart nomination. Her poetry has been, or will be, featured in a range of journals such as Requited Journal, ArLiJo, Merrimack Review, Notre Dame Review, Juked, and Jet Fuel Review. To learn more about her or connect, please visit her website