top of page
Photo: Chuck Huru
Spring/Summer 2017

Walking the Circle

by Keisha-Gaye Anderson

How many times
can you walk a circle?

You are breathless
in this flesh
blind and forgetful
and partially deaf
pulled by the nose
across the globe like cattle

aching from a boundless hunger

which is really only


Why I?

Why now?

Why pain?

Why at all?

And you are marching
toward that carrot
straight into the mouths of cannibals

that live in your
peripheral vision
in the foreground
in the background
in the space in
between your eyes

They are a mist

coating you with

a mask that you

mistake for

your reflection


So when you hear,
A man was shot today

A man was lynched today
A street vendor was bulldozed today

A woman was raped today

A child...

You say,
"That is out there"

how many times can you walk a circle?

and not know that

You are the corpse
The wrinkled street vendor

The strange fruit

The woman sawed in two

The child

The child

The child?

How many times

how fast

can you walk
a circle
before crashing into


Keisha-Gaye Anderson is a Brooklyn-based poet and writer. She is the author of the poetry collection Gathering the Waters (Jamii, 2014) and has been widely published in such literary magazines as Renaissance Noire, African Voices, Mosaic, and The Mom Egg Review. Keisha, who holds an MFA from The City College, CUNY, is a past participant of the VONA Voices and Callaloo writing workshops. Follow her on Twitter @KeishaGaye1. 

bottom of page