Charleston SC poetry

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when falling into fear is easier than falling asleep.

my cat doesn’t like car rides. an otherwise fierce feline becomes a furry bundle of fear, rapid-fire breathing and foaming at the mouth, every second is suffocation, every bump in the road is permission for each hard breath to be a puke premonition on my feet, my lap, the back seat. but she paws her […]

antenna

cover my skin in sorrow, lay my body down with feathered tears. help me sleep with the dreams of friends who are having conversations with ghosts so that i can wake with their pain. a shared depression, a thread among empaths. give me the compassion and emotional power to be strong when needed.

on jury duty …

heads pointing down, eyes avoiding contact. the poet sits in the back, the best version of himself. Life on Mars in his hands, “Wuthering Heights,” low, in his ears. (Low enough that silence seems louder). A man in a blue shirt jokes about how he should have brought beer. I laugh as the scrolling, scrolling, […]

a piece of paraíso

(written about a poet in residence stay at The Betsy Hotel.) south beach is the sudden sweat that soaks up your energy, the sex stores sitting next to the sandwich shop. the bright bikini bodegas holding hands with bougie art museums, the over-priced cocktails mixed with cheap conversation, the poetry project that protects you from […]

our night at zero george

(written about this) we are here for one night but the experience is everlasting. solace drew us in with the dawn and a calm, despite the relentless summer downpour. the dinner was untouched by drama. it was crafted by hands whose passion is cooking; whose love for his family is reflected in food. we were […]

let’s talk about the weather

light follows us wherever we go, no matter how shadowed the mind. but darkness has a sneaky way of taking us over at night and sometimes its sleepy residue remains in the day in spite of the sun’s warm personality and efficient, persistent glow. we sleep through hot nightmares when the only cool air is […]

Inner twined

(commissioned for the Gibbes Museum and Charleston Jazz’ Art of Jazz series. Written specifically about the Betwixt and Between exhibit) You don’t have to look far for signs of connection. floor to ceiling strands of shared air, or sidewalk to sun oxygen, binding our breathing. trees are made up of the tightened tension of sticks […]

Movement’s mother

(inspired by Septima Clark, on what would have been her 120th birthday. Written for the dedication of her historical marker) I. There are spirits among us – ghosts of grassroots movements echoing through our soil. Charleston’s poinsettia was a warrior woman who blossomed despite an unholy city’s unsettled winds. She was light through dark matter, […]

The resolution of wings

(dedicated to the Butterly Book Nook) Here is the place where a community blossoms. Where hope still finds the right amount of air to rise, to spread its wings, defiantly, in the deflating aftermath of a tragedy that grounded us. Here is the place where we will no longer be cocooned in sadness because our […]

empath (bones)

(a poem about lynchings) If the Angel Oak tree could talk, she’d tell us stories we don’t want to hear. Her family has been roped into being the backdrop of racism’s roots, her friends had no choice but to stand, stoic through storms that bore strange fruit. She’d tell you about the relentless weight of […]