by Aurielle Marie
Photo Credit: teri elam
Oh blood mud, ground made rust with the iron of us
Oh foggy symmetric, Oh cataract sky
Oh kinky margins displaced by humidity, the tricky algorithim, animal and wound
Oh Sunday dresses, stained by Christ, his good marrow, the young grass
Oh baptize me, ruin me, oh cool cerulean clean
Oh praise river, oh sovereign dew
Oh made hole and then whole again
Oh missing children from Bowen homes, chalk the circumference, a mother’s lonely ache
Oh Bluffs, Oh summer snow, a pandemic of raw mouths
Oh, ghosts living in between the holy and what lies between
Oh son-gone sermons, oh mourning, oh praise
Oh custom tees, oh last rights, oh embalmed smile, oh memory
Oh memory fading behind the knees at dusk
Oh stolen kisses in empty chapels, mouths upon themselves in the lap of God
Oh God, Oh yes, silk hands tethered in shag carpet frisk
Oh pleasure. ‘Bama boys not worth they mama's labor
Oh playing grown in children's church
Oh fast-ass mischief, Creole curiosity, oh
Oh tell the truth. Oh shame the devil.
Oh sneaking communion before the lord arrives.
Oh fellowship hall in your great grandmother's name
Oh Maggie, Maggie
Oh patron saint, oh quick mouth. Made ancestor the best way &
Oh, at the worst time.
Oh generation of eager worship,
One after another fallin in love with a false god
Oh broken curses of the family name
Oh family name
Oh lion oh Israel oh spaniard bastard, indigenous dark
Oh gumbo. Oh massa scraps made harvest.
Oh survival survival survival and only a few scars.
Oh pot deeper than a grandmother’s prayer
Oh prayer. Oh black magic. Oh slurped marrow. Rooster feather.
Oh Reading bones. Brick dust. Rosehip. Indigo. Cayenne. High John.
Oh root. Oh root. Oh the work of conquerors.
Oh, how deep does we bury ourselves, grow & not be slain
Oh laws of kindred blood.
Oh lineage of shared palm. now there lives a city of us
Oh dwelling. Oh home inside the land. Oh weesum oh weesum
Oh, we sumthin awful.
Oh, thick heat and unpaved roads. Oh stroke of navel fervor.
Oh Porch stoop at dusk
Oh firecracker oh
Oh whistlebullet. Oh ghost tomb. Hollow mouths, saunter in and out the gospel
Oh holy, Oh holy, Oh holy, Oh holy
Oh georgia me, fast girl in a too slow town.
too heavy for the air. too free.
Aurielle Marie is a Black, Queer, Atlanta born & bred poet and essayist committed to social justice. Her essays and poems are featured in or
forthcoming from the Guardian, Adroit Journal, Vinyl Poetry, BOAAT,
Scalawag, ESSENCE, Allure, and the Huffington Post. Her inaugural collection Gumbo Ya Ya is forthcoming from Write Bloody Press September 6th, 2019. Stay updated on her work on Twitter and Instagram: @YesAurielle.