8th Miracle

The human body is made of seven billion miracles 
and black women are always asked to be the 8th million —
an electric infinity and an echo, evergreen in a barren field.

When impatient hands have choked the source,
twisted and knotted our thirsting spigot,  
we are asked to be fountain amidst famine
to release some holy substance. 
Even now we are feeding masses from empty 
vessels, resurrecting the scorched earth. 

No one asking how we rationed the crop, 
never thankful for the harvest­ — the fish
and four loaves —
just ready with an open mouth
and an empty belly.

Khalisa Rae is a poet and journalist in Durham, North Carolina that speaks with furious rebellion. Her poetry appears in Frontier Poetry, Florida Review, Rust & Moth, PANK, Hellebore, Sundog Lit and HOBART, among countless others. She is the winner of the Bright Wings Poetry contest, the Furious Flower Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize and the White Stag Publishing Contest, among other prizes. Her debut collection, Ghost in a Black Girl’s Throat, releases in April 2021, from Red Hen Press, and Unlearning Eden is forthcoming in January 2022 from White Stag Publishing. More: khalisarae.com