Tammaka Staley




  I was lake wading for men with shallow hearts.

  ones still wet behind the ears.

  still sewer and salt, never saline.

  still thirsting for a good thing when a good thing already

  riddles in their throats. Parched be their alter egos

  still making homes in places they aren’t deep enough to survive in.




  I became ocean

  mystic and full. tides, thick like Ceto.

  rendering a spell, a sea creature’s whisper in wind,

  luring them all ashore

  to drown.

Tammaka Staley is a poet, teaching artist, advocate, and bachelor level social worker. She is a resident of Columbia, SC and has been writing and performing poetry for several years. Tammaka actively works in the Columbia community with poetry and youth organizations like OneWord Columbia and University of South Carolina TRIO programs. She is also the 2017 co-champion for the annual Queen of the South Poetry Slam. She has performed as a featured artist at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts during the 2016 National American College Dance Festival in Washington, D.C., and has performed in multiple venues across the country. She has work featured in the Huffington Post, HuffPost Black Voices, and SELF Magazine. Tammaka wants people to love on purpose and eat mo’ ice cream.