MAMA VOICE, BRITTNY RAY CROWELL
you see, we all start out as haints. wispy
shadowy, vapory things—that part comes first.
when you think of them there, wading the ribs of the earth—
you have to think of yourself there, too
no matter that you’re above and they’re below.
it’s the same—like an hourglass—you’re trickling
down and they’re receiving.
it's all divisible, like silt from bone,
bone weakens, weathers, frets
down like a stick of chalk until it's carried off into clouds,
coats your hands like a silky thing you can’t pick up—
transfers off to all you touch, those you pine for—
and those you loathe. you have to believe
it’s happening to you even now,
in this very place you call home
Brittny Ray Crowell is a native of Texarkana, TX with a BA in English from Spelman College and an MA in English from Texas A&M-Texarkana. She recently was awarded the Inprint Donald Barthelme Prize in Poetry and her work has been published in The West Review and the anthology Black Lives Have Always Mattered. She is currently a PhD candidate in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Houston.