Issue > Poetry
Denzel Scott

Denzel Scott

Denzel Xavier Scott earned his BA in English from the University of Chicago and received his Writing MFA at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in his hometown of Savannah, GA. His works appear in Spillway, Decomp, Euphony Journal, Blacklight Magazine, Bombay Gin, Missing Slate, Apeiron Review, Gambler Mag, Kaaterskill Basin Literary Journal, SLAB Magazine, and Linden Avenue. He has forthcoming publication credits in Rattle and Louisville Review. Denzel Scott is a past recipient of the University of Chicago’s Summer Arts Council Fellowship Grant. In September 2018, he became one of the winners of Writer Relief’s Peter K Hixson Memorial Prize. 

Mirror Of A Mirror

Two years ago, my older brother
was shot dead and still I cannot
quell this sense that I failed him.

As children, my brother told me
that his handwriting was
so small and pretty—
it was like his letters flew like birds
afar on the horizon—
because that was how he
hid from his teachers.

I laughed at his absurdity.
Why would you hide from
people paid to teach you?

We were adults when I
learned of his dyslexia,
of how he, the peacock,
hid age-old festering wounds
with emerald feathers he
had meticulously preened
his whole life.

My brother, the beautiful one,
was a dysfunctional husk
of all I had known of him,
truly odd and pathetic
like I was, vulnerable,
like I was, but by then
it was too late.

For too long, I echoed
the lies he told me about himself—
how free he was, how bold he was,
until I was blind to the cruelty he would suffer,
as well as the cruelty he would inflict.

I did not truly see him all his life,
my glorious mirror of opposing virtue,
and when he was undone, I was undone.

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