congregation

congregations wonder
burn slowly candles
off pitch choir
ledge of voices drag and spill around
stares of smooth expression
sanded eyes without love, kneeling
for desire will never listen

© Star Angelina Murray, October 2019

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list for quiet people

On Sunday I made a list:

1. My first-grade heart is unbroken.
2. Racism is an alphabet rulebook.
3. Bitten nails used to give me teeth.
4. Now my veins of empathy run my body.
5. Rent leaves my toes on the wire.
6. I sang out of pitch in a supermarket.
7. Our family photos flash blurred and focus.
8. My sister holds me in a prayer.
9. That offer was barely louder than a needle dropping.
10. The audience rustled, clapped, or laughed for their neighbors.
11. An office is another landscape for protest.

© Star Angelina Murray, October 29, 2017

Returning

Some return to self by marking, needle to ink. Tiny stabs, weighty digs

there it is a Black Panther fertile with autonomy.

Splice cells sincere as womb

across the avocado hall and the bathroom, the door, it swings back.

She stands still and plump. Throws up, squats,

tiptoes as if to avoid mud.

She doubles over, flows sharp and he departs like seasonal berries,

beneath the cherry arch of her feet. Her eyes fraught

she seeks the universe but there is man who stares, stunned in white rhyme.

The woman sits upright on the mattress.

Under deep blue covers her hands tremble,

swaddling an unborn body in purple-grey print.

©2013 Star Murray