Briel Felton

it was my freshman year of college
in the mountains
where it snowed year round
even in the buildings

to prepare
i stocked up on scarves and
a sensational vocabulary
my fucking god

on cold nights
i was confused about my skin
i perfected the ends of words
pronouncing each syllable like they hurt
my mouth
i erased their blackened inflections and
became a polar white oreo filling 

but on dark mulberry nights
with the warmth of whiskey
as shaved lemon ice ringlets melted
we all sat in huddles
we laughed drowsily
and thought
would be chapter 1 of the stories
we would tell
our kids

but i was the stain
the only exception
in a room of eggshell/s

“Hot Nigga” by Bobby Shmurda would play
and a field of blue irises would turn to me
the white walls i glued together
in my hot hands

mitch caught a body about a week ago
i mumble the only line i know
my cheeks a hot vermilion
I a stain in the snow

Briel Felton, a senior at Old Dominion University, is majoring in English with a Creative Writing concentration. She is currently the copyeditor and the creative writing editor for the Mace & Crown magazine, as well as an Assistant Content editor for the Center of Learning and Teaching at ODU.