About the Column:
Poems of Our Climate is a weekly poetry column run by Sofia Baluyut ’23. The column was founded by Oliver Egger ’23 as a part of the literary magazine group Route 9, whose literary magazine The Lavender is currently open for submissions on the theme of Obsessions! Submit and read past issues of The Lavender at Route9.org. If you are interested in having your poem featured in this column, Poems of Our Climate, please email your work directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
watch me dance
By Jada Reid ’22
after, with, and inside of Zora’s
how it feels to be colored me
from front porch to jungle jazz club,
you taught me to speculate.
to spectate and to know that i am spectated
little zora watches herself mold into a blackness
and in the mirror there is me. waving back at her
waiting for the moment where cross time,
we meet, only to find
everything we knew was never different about us.
bits of broken glass & our voices. this is how i speak
in pieces and
little zora knows whiteness only in that it passes her.
moves past, and forward, leaving her there. leaving
what is at the core – what happens if you split me open,
and outpour my memories, all the things i’ve ever loved
and the space they take up inside
would there be gods in there?
or just matter – paper bag & paper bag, emptied
finding me, shattered and all;
bits of broken glass – a door never opened
part and parcel of the same star
i come from – i reach for your words.
pierce them into my body
and sometimes i pretend they are mine.
tell me Zora; what is it that you see?
not to plagiarize but to imagine
i am the person that wrote this
refusal. refusal. refusal.
About the Poet: Jada Reid is a writer-thinker-lover from St. Louis, Missouri. She’s obsessed with Zora Neale Hurston and likes to pretend she is Zora’s great great granddaughter. This poem is in awe and in promise of keeping Zora’s words close to her heart. Zora was buried in an unmarked grave, and thankfully, lovingly, Alice Walker found it; and my poem is an homage to that practice of dancing, and of marking ourselves into movement.