Journalism In Verse

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Three Eulogies

in Obituaries by

for Toni Morrison

1.

I am sick of saying goodbye
but bring what’s left of her along.
if i let her go, i must split her
same old body
in half―
soft, ebony
dead, weight
master of words
we can never forget
how language fell from your lips

isn’t that the most queer thing?

that in-between reflex
that screams
i am being &
i am woman &
i am black at the same time.
not for the hell of it,
but for the knowing.

you feel it

when you look at yourself
in the mirror.
you know it
when you melt into the air
& then just as quickly,
there’s no more you.

until what you leave behind
flows back
to black, ever so slowly
on repeat.

2.

remember: once, a black girl wished for blue eyes

& that’s the story.
I wonder if we’re worthy of the lineage
of leaping from 1,000 ships launched
because to love means to be missed.

to love means to be always,
something that yearns.
I demand a war to bring the dead back
no matter if you remember her
or me

i at least expect us to sing a hymn.
a hymn will do just fine.

3.

Toni Morrison
look what the world is: ____
after you.

 

Poet’s Note

Ms. Morrison was the reason I picked up a pen. My writing has evolved with the purpose of capturing, in words, the complexity of living with intersections of the black female identity. I hope this poem can show gratitude for Toni and the irreplaceable light that she shined so brightly, onto this world.

________

Monaye holds a BA in Gender, Women, & Sexuality Studies from Gustavus Adolphus College and plans to pursue a MFA in English in the future. Her work is committed to uplifting womxn and girls through storytelling, prose, and poetry.

________

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