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About this poet

Yona Harvey is the author of the poetry collection, Hemming the Water (Four Way Books, 2013) and a coauthor of Marvel's Black Panther and the Crew (2017) and World of Wakanda (Marvel, 2016). She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Gingivitis, Notes on Fear

I hesitate invoking that
my daughter's mouth
not her first vanity
she tastes & smoothes
her chin this way & that,
bones replacing the fallen. 
it repairs itself: two
   forming new words:
      brushing past


What is the tongue-
between trauma &
Incident &


Think


There is so much to fear.


& now my second-born,


brush, he says,



doubled emptiness: open—
in the bathroom mirror—
but first blook inkling
with her tongue. She turns
anticipating her future: new
If the body survives,
pillars—wider, stronger
   adolescent declarations
      seasoned gums


span
terror?
accident?


on these things.


How will we fear it all?


my son:          If I don't


a disease will attack my gums.
 

 

From Hemming the Water. Copyright © 2013 by Yona Harvey. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc. on behalf of Four Way Books, www.fourwaybooks.com.

From Hemming the Water. Copyright © 2013 by Yona Harvey. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc. on behalf of Four Way Books, www.fourwaybooks.com.

Yona Harvey

Yona Harvey

Yona Harvey is the author of the poetry collection, Hemming the Water (Four Way Books, 2013) and a coauthor of Marvel's Black Panther and the Crew (2017) and World of Wakanda (Marvel, 2016).

by this poet

poem

Your black coat is a door
in the storm. The snow
we don’t mention
clings to your boots & powders
& puffs. & poof. Goes.
Dust of the fallen. Right here
at home. The ache
of someone gone-missing. Walk it off
like a misspoken word.
Mound of snow. Closed door.

poem
Nobody straightens their hair anymore.
Space trips & limited air supplies will get you conscious quick.
 
My shea-buttered braids glow planetary
as I turn unconcerned, unburned by the pre-take-off bother.
 
“Leave it all behind,” my mother’d told me,
sweeping the last specs of copper
2
poem

Four tickets left, I let her go—
Firstborn into a hurricane.

I thought she escaped
The floodwaters. No—but her

Head is empty of the drowned
For now—though she took

Her first breath below sea level.
Ahhh       awe       &       aw
Mama, let me go—she speaks

What