Journalism In Verse


Stars Fell

in Health by

On Alabama’s loam,
the graves sunk
beyond the fields,
tonight the bones
of the girls scream,
remember being plums
or peaches men ripped
with hands and teeth—
made swell with despair—
they sought out rue
pennyroyal, sharp sticks,
cauldrons to boil flesh,
anything to start
the fall of blood,
the spatter at first
small as stars,
their lives bled out
among cotton stocks,
upon needles
of longleaf pines.



Jasmine Marshall Armstrong is journalist, teacher, poet and humanities scholar, the daughter of a school custodian and waitress, raised the rural part of California’s Central Coast. She holds an MFA from Fresno State University and a MA from UC Merced.

Photo by Jay Williams.



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