Cover Photo: This photograph is a picture of the muddy ground with some fallen leaves.
Photograph by Ehud Neuhaus/Unsplash

Family Tied

This poem was written by DeShara Suggs-Joe in a 12-Month Poetry Collection Generator taught by Angel Nafis.

A List of Justified Longings

who came up to their necks

you wash away my woe I want

almost right I didn’t make my father

a rediscovered ghost begging for exalt

himself & slew my tongue desperately

through the unripe mud How dare a man who didn’t name

lasso my knees into a bend

like my mother before

DeShara is a queer, Black poet. She co-founded Daughter’s Tongue (an all-women writing collective) and is a former member of the Youth Speaks Collective. She received her MFA in Writing from California College of the Arts. She has fellowships from Callaloo, the Poetry Incubator, and Pink Door. She has published poems in Apogee Lit, Voicemail Poems, Tinderbox Journal, The Texas Review, and elsewhere. She has also been featured on Button Poetry’s YouTube platform and has performed at the likes of Spotify, Yahoo, and Pinterest.