"Poetry for the People": Reading Garveyism through Poetry


by Jessica Covil Listen

Sometimes it starts in my toes

licks my ankles and swims up,

crashing in my belly

lapping the sides of this cavern inside me

wanting to spill out.


And sometimes

it starts at the top of my head

trickling down like warm water

to baptize or embalm me.

It rushes down my spine

and I am floating.


The ocean

always carries me.

I've got the Middle Passage

in my body

the sea at the soles of my feet

for I have walked on water

hundreds of years


Oh, Africa

I would lay down my life

to wash up on your shore

What else can I do?

It's this pleasure-pain

consuming my flesh

that maps my anatomy

and leads back to you.

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