Love in Different Stages

A poetry collection by Shaneka Gearhart, December 2019

Greetings! I am Shaneka Gearhart, an all time poetry buff, and a lover for good language. Currently, I am a student at Stockton University focusing on Literary Studies while dabbling in some creative endeavors. Usually, I would pinpoint some of the work that I find to be most notable, but I have been enjoying the current issue all to well. And so, I am submitting a snippet of my work to be considered for publication in your journal.

I have curated a small collection of poems, “For the Mothers who Did Not Wish to Be Mothers,” “It was the Darkness that Humbled Me,” “Warnings,” “Morning Devotion,” and “The Hurt that Comes with Loving a Broken Woman.” Each of these poems tackle the different stages of love because love comes in many shapes and can encompass a plethora of emotion. I use these poems as vessels to explore and learn about my own concept of love.

Furthermore, I must add that this a simultaneous submission, and upon acceptance elsewhere I will be withdrawing my submission. However, I look forward to hearing from you, and I thank you for your time and consideration.

Morning Devotion

I wake to your arms draped over

my naked body, your breath echoing,

small ripples escapes the opening of your lips.

There’s a bird on the patio pecking

at the forgotten cacti. The sun had dressed and risen

long before us. And I have no desire to break the passage

from your body

to mine.


The Hurt that Comes with Loving a Broken Woman

                             (for J.C.)

What a feeling this is to be loved

by a man who holds no resemblance

                                               to my father.

The grave distinction of satisfaction

and love, like the babe waiting

nestled in the mother’s lap for the father

to return, like a knight in the moonlight.

                   He saved me.

The darkness, which he grew somewhat fond of

turns to light, beams of yellow shines through

our windows, I am wrapped in his arms.

                          And I think this must be love—

He holds me in all of my morning glory, he feels

the cracks on my skin and rubs them smooth,

and I cut him, breaks the skin,

                             and the sticky ox color blood runs.