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Friday Feature: c.r. glasgow

c.r. glasgow (doc/she/we) is a non-binary, queer, first-generation Afro-Caribbean-American interdisciplinary healing artist. c has received fellowships and support from Hugo House, VONA, The Watering Hole, Hurston/Wright, and Anaphora. doc has been the recipient of VONA’s 2021 Haitian Heritage Scholarship. Their chapbook the Devils that raised Us was longlisted at Frontier Poetry. c’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Black Lawrence Press, Moko: Caribbean Arts & Letters, Rigorous Magazine, Lion’s Roar, Obsidian, Torch Literary, and other cross-genre spaces. Follow c’s multidisciplinary healing arts online and on Twitter and Instagram.

$ luck baby

if meh dream dey tooth fall out dey mouth

dey dead.

watch dey number come tomorrow



and run she run to meh bedside

whatchu dream? Ma belted in excitement

and she would finger through

The Red Devil Dream and Numbers …


oh gosh, Ma!!

(an’ meh suck meh teeth)

can’t even wipe the sleep from meh eye

meh gonna play that tonight!

come, lenme $20 till friday come

wha’ massa yuh know itchin’ to pay?

meh jus’ a chile

jus’ six years pass

maybe her susu hand come.

her palms would itch

she would play.



her ears would ring hard

coco-head bangles rattle as one finger

dislodged whatever voices

knockout any number...

when i get rich, she would wish,

and the next breath –

money is the root of all evil.

dat some twin talk

she a perfect gemini yuh know.


a 3x5 index card etched numbers and coordinates:




pick 4

pick 3

instructions a hazed echo...

jus’ hand it to him, she said sternly.

don’t talk! she said.

keep the change, she said smirking

the unspoken thank you.

go quick!

at 6 years i long learned to sprint

through e v e r y t h i n g

it was her only speed.

so i sprinted the 2 blocks to ricky’s corner store

handed the stuffed folded card over

and as he entered the numbers into the machine

i rushed

pursuing jar after jar of artificial goodness:

now n’ laters, jawbreaker, razzles, bazooka, king candy cigarettes, jolly ranchers, necco wafers (save the white ones for communion), nerds, candy button sheets, red hots, lemonheads, and, of course … fun dip.

he joined me in the opposite corner

with printed tickets

folded back into 3x5

stray bills and coins ...

do i save what remains?

or indulge ...

coat every artery in artificial flavors

this forgetting serum ...

the night’s comfort.

luck baby

if dey number come!

it was a secret trade: bills folded small to shake or pass

into a 6-year-old palm

don’t tell your aunt, Grannie would whisper.

here, whispered Auntie, with a slight nod

a raised brow and finger to her lip…

a currency to–

s t r e t c h a little

make some more;

it brought their absence

but filled my hands later

it was the love they knew

my Future of ease.


Torch Literary Arts is a 501(c)3 nonprofit established to publish and promote creative writing by Black women. We publish contemporary writing by experienced and emerging writers alike. TORCH has featured work by Toi Derricotte, Tayari Jones, Sharon Bridgforth, Crystal Wilkinson, Patricia Smith, Natasha Trethewey, Elizabeth Alexander, and others. Programs include the Wildfire Reading Series, writing workshops, and retreats.


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