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The Other Congregants

in Identity by

Emanuel AME Church, Charleston, South Carolina

All the ways we will startle at doors
letting in minutes and closing our eyes to the floor, shaking

our voices to heated sentences that stretch
in their continuous testament. Slowly getting on

with the Bible right and familiar. Prayers
overtaking us, and Judgment

Day like a swaddling. For now, our tongues hold the cost
of awe and all that’s left to learn.


Read More:
Jury Finds Dylann Roof Guilty In S.C. Church Shooting [NPR]
S.C. church shooter could be the first in nearly 3 decades to be sentenced to death twice [Business Insider]
‘Justice has been served’ – Church shooting survivor, victims’ families remember loved ones [Live 5]

Lauren Camp is the author of three books, most recently One Hundred Hungers, winner of the Dorset Prize (Tupelo Press, 2016). Her poems have appeared in New England Review, Poetry International, At Length, Beloit Poetry Journal and as a Poem-a-Day for Poets.org. Other literary honors include the Margaret Randall Poetry Prize, the Anna Davidson Rosenberg Award, and a Black Earth Institute Fellowship.

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