When we had a problem in our home growing up, my mother would call a family meeting. The four of us — my mother, father, sister, and me — would gather at the kitchen table. My mother held court — her arms folded across her chest, often peering over her…

reconciling with what has always been

[to be recited with the fervor of a Black Baptist preacher with sweat gleaming on his/her/their temples, with the stillness of a child asleep after playing all day, with the joy of your belly after poundcake, with longing, with a desire to spend your…

The lights were on when he arrived. Room silent except for scratches and streaks across paper — the sound of compliance. Fumbling with the door latch, he bumbled into the room and was greeted by laughs and shouts.

“Oh snap.”
“Yo!”
“What up, Kwamae?”

Shirt untucked and hair beginning to…

[trigger warning: sexual assault, rape]

I did not understand most of the fiery language that rolled off their tongues. You do not have to understand words to remember them. …

for mom

me and my mom, 1993(?)

On her last birthday here, my mama, brown-skinned and big boned, sat propped upon a throne of white pillows, her presence reigning over her illness and her stubbornness denying her body’s desire to quit. A symphony of blinking lights and beeping machines brought her back to life for…

shea martin

boston-based lit educator, researcher, and mixtape maker raised at the intersections of gospel and go-go. find [them] dreaming and working toward liberation.

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