a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
The mouth of the disaster is not round.
Speaking only in verbs and often in rain.
It decided you were a dirge, it would play
you. Shooting its wind through your holes
never-ending. One tooth is the seawall,
failing. That’s for disrupting the sediment.
One tooth is the hospital roof, peeled back
like a tin lid. That’s for the animals that healed
you instead of living. Teeth for shark fin
soup, teeth for the petrochemical pinking
of sunset, teeth for crustaceans without
enough calcium to build their shells. Teeth
for the shriek that that hovers over, forcing
us to remember the coordinates of humility.
Reminding us our place in the shadows of gods.
Melissa Studdard is the author of the poetry collection I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast and the young adult novel Six Weeks to Yehidah. Her writings have appeared or are forthcoming in The Guardian, The New York Times, Psychology Today, Poetry, Harvard Review, New Ohio Review, Poets & Writers, and more. In addition to writing, she serves as executive producer and host of VIDA Voices & Views for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts and president of the Women’s Caucus for AWP.