Maya Marshall is a Callaloo Fellow, a Cave Canem fellow, a fellow of The Watering Hole, and an alumna of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Her writing has appeared most recently in Blackbird, RHINO, Jasper, and The Volta. Currently, Marshall is an MFA candidate at the University of South Carolina where she is the editor of Yemassee Journal.
Women make homes of low rent
apartments, ill equipped closets.
Something must be made: a dinner
a den, a child’s first bedroom.
Mattresses from thrift stores with
“everything-must-go” signs, eat
hand me down pearls, are bugged with growls
bitten into their elastic.
Oblong secretions echo
oh and yes. Grace is cheaper than a
miracle. Beds are made over
altar to love, to life. altar
to sickness to deeper , softer.
Closets become houses, linen
forts, caves or proof that there will be
no more babies. Women look for
pink tags, ½ price Monday bedclothes
a boxspring skirt, a black nightie
to upcycle into passion
after another night of chicken
and pasta. Or a daughter’s first
bra. “Come on honey, try it on.
Let’s take a picture.”