Not Vanilla

By Van G. Garrett

whiskey or vodka
classic crush bottle shape
bent over a wicker chair
blue starfish pillow

passionate treed cat
you clawed armrests

i levitated
thrusts the way a ship battles a storm
passionate swells
teetered on tethered emotions

i needed a release
i wanted to release

couldn’t get enough:
the arrangement of our bodies
rearrangement of furniture
scuffed floor
sound of a teakettle
steam that fogged my glasses
sweat that landscaped the floor

Van G. Garrett is the winner of the 2017 Best Book of African American Poetry for his book, 49: Wings and Prayers, as announced by the Texas Association of Authors. Garrett is a poet and fiction writer. He is the author of Songs in Blue Negritude (poetry), ZURI: Selected Love Songs (poetry), The Iron Legs in the Trees (fiction), and 49: Wings & Prayers (poetry). Additionally, Van’s poetry and art have been featured and exhibited around the world. His updates and appearances can be found at