2/30 (National Poetry Month) I am waiting, For the break, The pencil sits in haunting silence, a monolith It begs to conduct, A piano to burn notes in a mystic heat, A metronome ticks a mocking laugh as the quiet, builds Paranoia grips the page, a begging prayer, Encourages me to get over them, To …
Analogy For Black Women The Ice cream dealer asks the colorless child with eyes like robin eggs “which flavor?” she say “all of them.” He say “nah blondie, choose.” she say “sherbert, that way I can taste them all and it’ll cost me the price of a single scoop.” forty-levem licks later …
Enoch the Poet is a young up and coming poet from Wilmington, DE who uses his art to address issues of Black mental health and the Black social condition in America. In April of 2017 he earned a spot on the 2017 Philadelphia Fuze National Poetry Slam Team as well as the title of 2017 Philadelphia Fuze Grand Slam Champion and in October, flew to Spokane, Washington to compete in the Individual World Poetry Slam where he finished ranking 28th in the nation.
Crosshair The one time her father put a gun in her hand, my wife shot until a shell rattled inside her goggles, the casement a coal flung from the barrel. She knows how much fire weighs more than I do. I never saw her staring down the sight, ordered to …
Beautiful Thang “Come on, Gram,” you try to hurry her along without sounding like you’re hurrying her. “It’s a long ride.” “Where we goin’ again?” she asks. “Mount Mitchell,” you answer. “That right, that right.” “And Gram,” you say. “Happy Birthday.” You help her into the front seat of your convertible as she grips …
My mother had more than a handful of children;
so her strength was forced to multiply,
like a tumor that slept under a magnifying glass.
In the summer,
in record-degree heat,
she walked for miles;
feet too tired to complain.
She carried bags of groceries in her hands
that were equivalent to the weight of a two toddlers—sitting on both sides
of her hips.
But on the weekends, she’d wipe the opinions made by bystanders
with the back of her hand,
dancing: fearlessly, through the fire of tragedy.
And I learned how to survive by watching her swim through brick walls.
Maude Washington is a poet and freelance writer. Her work has appeared in The Blue Nib and The Faithful Creative.
Trophy Love is Nothing but Shiny And when they break your heart don’t ask why or listen to apologies. Don’t crack your chest open for something already done. You will, at all times of the day, burst like a heavy cloud, go still, become a barren desert or all of the above. More and more …
In Nights of War
My mother forced us to go to sleep before sunset
She told us
The warning siren will take the sleep from your eyes
Just as the raid will take the houses from their streets
We run toward everything
We eat from fear of running out of food
We drink water without thirst
And like chicks
We crawl into her abaya
And sleep without sleeping
We run toward the windows
And open our eyes wide
When we start counting all the destroyed houses around us
And thank God
For the blessing of sleep
Faleeha Hassan is a poet, teacher, editor, writer, playwriter born in Najaf, Iraq, in 1967, who now lives in the United States.
Faleeha is the first woman to wrote poetry for children in Iraq. She received her master’s degree in Arabic literature, and has now published 20 books. Her poems have been translated into English, Turkmen, Bosevih, Indian, French, Italian, German, Kurdish, Spain, Korean, Greek ,Serbia and Albanian. Ms. Hassan has received many awards in Iraq and throughout the Middle East for her poetry and short stories.
THE SEA IS NOT A PEACEFUL PLACE, all spirits of all the long legged & lipsticked things before me move the current, and bring him crashing. i sing to men only until i am sure they are dead. i never told anyone to name my body anything. but they’ve called me dangerous since …
A Blues for Nina You’ve got to learn to leave the table When love’s no longer being served Nina Simone When love is no longer being served, I stay seated and finish off the scraps. I chew the gristle off all the bones then eat the bones, sop up the last of the …