New Work in Persephone’s Daughters

The aim of this lit magazine is to empower women, but it also aims to be completely inclusive in regards to applicants/contributors. We love you. We’re not here to tell you to stay strong, because you’re already doing exactly that.

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Breathing Lessons’ Growing Pains

...common roles illustrate how Black women, and their sexuality, have often been synonymous with deviance. And reclaiming, repackaging, and/or discarding the roles has given women agency; a control denied the Good Girl who is essentially invisible. She needs that.

50 Books I’ve Loved (in no particular order)

1.  Browngirl, Brownstones – Paule Marshall 2.  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith 3.  Segu – Maryse Conde 4.  The Secret of Gumbo Grove – Eleanora Tate 5.  No Easy Place To Be – Steven Corbin 6.  Long Distance Life – Marita Golden 7.  Sweet Whispers Brother Rush – Virginia Hamilton 8.  Assata [...]

For my Nieces and Nephews

Fearful love means sometimes I worry over you because I love you so much (yeah, resulting in that goofy glossy-eyed look--just play along like y'all do). If you know that, then you know that there are no shady hucksters, no mistake you could ever make, no single thing on this side of the river Jordan that could make you any less than loved in my eyes and should not make you any less in your own.

[vintage UtR] Things I’ve wanted to be in no particular order

darlene anita scott

The Boy’s Girl
A Delta flight attendant
Valedictorian
An Alvin Ailey dancer—
Soul Train would do
Stokely Carmichael’s concubine (shh)
The subject of a song, a nice song
21
That sigh
Mama
Cover Girl
A broadcast journalist
on Walden Pond
Finally
A missionary
Carnival Queen
The Black Madonna
Damn
In long skirts
Dramatic
Always
Marva Collins, Assata,
or Maxine Shaw
A scream
Fancy
Encyclopedia Brown
Samba—just samba
Wealthier, selfish
A b-girl
Taller-shorter-skinnier-thicker
Someday (soon)
Bald
Drawn in black ink.

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Want’s Weight

She remembered holding his hand, thumbing the meaty part under his thumb. And she remembered how she hardly ever held his hand. Or smiled. She remembered how he smelled—soapy—and his minty breath. He said he brushed his teeth because he planned to kiss her. She remembered him fingering her eyebrows. And his eyes. She remembered [...]

After Lunch

After lunch he lays in her lap. She twists his hair while they watch game shows and soaps. He feels her up; she slaps his hand. Your head is heavy. She twists some more. They go out for a walk holding hands. His father’s neighborhood does not have the eyes of hers or his mom’s and as free as she feels here she knows the escape is not permanent. So when we gonna do this again?

The Request of His Body

But he has known since he met her that the girl on the other line owns herself. Only you surprise yourself by how much. You worry when he laughs, “Just wondering.” But there is more than wondering you hear.