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By emet ezell

i bought her a shitty ass chicken sandwich.
$18.59 and dripping with oil—
my grandmother. she blessed
the meal for ten minutes before
taking a bite. poured out devotion like
gasoline. like pepsi cola. we knew then
that she was dying, but i lived
in the first paragraph, unprepared.
i should’ve taken my
inheritance that afternoon:
a flour tin and the old photographs. foolish,
how i believed i could come back.
how i thought there would be someplace
to come back to. eviction and its soggy boxes.
no time to decide what
to sell, what to take.
trash bags brimming
with coats, dishes split in the dumpster’s heat.
my grandmother’s social security check: $1,032.16.
my aunt gambles it
for a miracle. your daddy
was born a piece of shit
, she whacks
through the phone. a wake
of vultures, scavenging the same carcass:
my grandmother, my aunt, and me.
my mother is nowhere to be found.
in berlin, i watch the wide winged
swan on the canal. whirring mother
of a bird. the swan’s webbed feet
on the water,
quickening, quickening.
the swan hurls itself
into lift, skipping and
and the miracle?
it does and does not



Listen as emet ezell readsWALKING ON WATER.”

Added: Thursday, May 11, 2023  /  Used with permission.
emet ezell

emet ezell is part god and part demon. Fueled by Jewish tradition, their creative work investigates desire, power, exile, and betrayal. They are the author of the guidebook for The Liberation Tarot Deck, published by PM Press, and the poetry chapbook Between Every Bird, Our Bones, which won the 2021 Gloria Anzaldúa Poetry Prize. ezell’s writing has appeared in Mizna, Waxwing, and Passages North and their work has been supported by The Vermont Studio Center, Pedvale Artist Residency, and the Berliner Festspiele. Rooted in diaspora, ezell lives in Berlin, Germany, where they facilitate writing workshops and communal ritual. You can find more of their work at their website.

Image Description: emet ezell sits in a green armchair with their chin resting in their hand. ezell looks directly at the camera. They have dark brown curly hair and are wearing a black and red checkered flannel shirt.  

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