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By Lauren K. Alleyne

           --  For Sandra Annette Bland

Where does a black girl go
when her body is emptied `
Of her? And her wild voice,
where does it sing its story
when the knots of history
make a grave of her throat?
What of her future, blue-      
broken, unmade? Her name,
—say it!—Sandra, unhoused;
her dreams and memories
lost to their source. Where
does a black girl’s love go
when her heart is snapped
shut like a cell door, the key
out of reach as any justice?
And what unimaginable
gift is lost when a black girl
is made a body, her light
dimmed into shadow, gone?
How many angels weep
when a black girl is torn
into wings?



Listen as Lauren K. Alleyne reads "Heaven?."

Added: Friday, September 9, 2016  /  Used with permission.
Lauren K. Alleyne
Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths.

Lauren K. Alleyne is the author of two collections of poetry, Difficult Fruit (Peepal Tree Press 2014), and Honeyfish (New Issues & Peepal Tree, 2019). Her work has appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times, The Atlantic, Ms. Muse, among others. Her most recent honors include a 2020 NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Poetry, and the longlist for the Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature. She is currently the assistant director of the Furious Flower Poetry Center and an associate professor of English at James Madison University.

Other poems by this author