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i write because i really think i've got hold of something . . . that might enable someone to see more clearly and not . . . go for the okey-doke. (toni cade bambara)

we need our words like we need our lungs to breathe in tight polluted spaces

we need our letters and constants and diphthongs and i's before e's and periods bleeding our holy vowels our rhythm tossing from our racing hearts

and sounds darting bullets off our tongues

and hot blood spitting from our pens

and bro ken words for every bro ken bone

and our syllables sounding alarms

our parables preaching gospel according to a-women (of course)

our phrases dancin with simile

our commas splicin lies

our quotes cuttin can-i-get-a-witness metaphors

our paragraphs hippin with hyberbole

our sentences runnin into essays our essays weavin poetry our poetry harvestin fiction

we need all our words lined together spelling write in our name

Jennifer E. Smith is a writer living in Washington, D.C. Her work has appeared in many publications including African American Review, Obsidian, Fast Talk: Full Volume, and others.
COPYRIGHT 1999 African American Review
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Author:Smith, Jennifer E.
Publication:African American Review
Date:Mar 22, 1999
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