One Poem by Samantha Samakande

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Myrtle Beach, SC

for my mother

Night dozes while the rain
                loses control of its fists,
bursts at the beach as if
                out of a barrel. By morning,
North Myrtle is evidence
                of the porridge it became
when the rain was done with it.

                Mounds of shells,
sipped clean of their guts, jut up
                like razors spit off
wild tongues of waves. Jellyfish lie
                splattered in soggy graves
like mucus-smeared slick
                on the shore. I am witness
to your detective, as you bend over
                each gluey body, stunned
to be tending glassy meats
                on the wrong side of the deep.

We skim the bruised lip severing
                ocean from powder, slop
our feet down into its mouth,
                sand suctioning, sea stinging.
As wind ripens our faces,
                warping water for miles
in welts, swells, and twisting veins,
                we investigate until sun
is spilling over the sky’s brim,
                until our limbs are viscous
with fatigue, until the knowledge
                is sharp in my marrow—

you are my covering, nine months
                my hiding place, my cathedral
of stubborn hands and bleeding
                fingers, always extending,
always wrapping,
                always gathering my injured parts.




Samantha SamakandeSamantha Samakande is a Zimbabwean-American poet based out of New Jersey, where she resides with her husband. She is a graduate of Allegheny College and was an editorial fellow for Sugar House Review. In 2020, she was the second-place winner of Frontier Poetry’s Award for New Poets. Her work has appeared in The American Journal of Poetry, The Indianapolis Review, Hobart, Sugar House Review, Okay Donkey, and Gordon Square Review, among other journals.

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