Dear Birmingham

By Gabrielle Bates

I’ve been visiting again
the cemetery
with a sunken southern corner.

Fish smaller than first teeth, birthed from the soil,
maneuver in the glaze
where rain pools, covering the lowest stones.

            Behind him, in a cracked white tub,
my knees to his sides,
left ear pressed to
the stack of bones in his neck,

I was once so terrified of my own contentment
I bit my shoulder
and drew blood there

                        to the surface—past it—

What I have wanted most
is many lives. One for each longing,
round and separate.

Sometimes I bring figs here, asphyxiating
in plastic, for their distant echo
of your humid, ghost-flesh air
shouldering the leaves—that almost-a-human
air—               

            I was born in autumn
as it fled underground
to be fed to a body
of water that only swallows.

Read More Poetry

SIGN UP NOW!
Sign up for our poetry club and we'll let you know whenever we launch a new event, competition or service!
Get On The List
SIGN UP NOW!
Sign up for our poetry club and we'll let you know whenever we launch a new event, competition or service!
Get On The List

Dear Black Child - Grace Storm Ad

Dear Black Child - Grace Storm Ad
Dear Black Child - Grace Storm Ad
SIGN UP NOW!
Sign up for our poetry club and we'll let you know whenever we launch a new event, competition or service!
Get On The List
SIGN UP NOW!
Sign up for our poetry club and we'll let you know whenever we launch a new event, competition or service!
Get On The List
LEVEL UP!
Drop your email and we'll send you 25 poetry editing guidelines to help transform your creative writing!
Send It!
LEVEL UP!
Drop your email and we'll send you 25 poetry editing guidelines to help transform your creative writing!
Send It!
Get On The List
We'll let you know whenever we launch a new event, competition or service!
SIGN UP NOW!
Get On The List
We'll let you know whenever we launch a new event, competition or service!
SIGN UP NOW!