A war can be quiet like, “Hey...try these pills. We can skip gym class” or
Casting: Sassy Black Friend Prostitute Thug No. 3
A war disappears those who prey in cathedrals or survive in the bullseye of its permanent theater
75,000 missing black girls
gone quietly no one sees because no one ever saw “Did that really happen?” “I don’t see race...”
A war sprouts pyres of glass and steel around you call it revitalization incinerate the frame house of your honest work and the one safe place for your children to exist as themselves
A war assures you that you think too much that you are paranoid hands you any version of Jesus that will shut you the fuck up while the priests all know that the allegories are much more than a bedtime story are absolutely a map in, up, and out that you’ll never figure out
A war is raw putrid rotting life that looks like maltodextrin arsenic petroleum all the not-food you have the constitutional right to choose
A war be writ in your birth certificate
Are you legal?
We can never be sure about these shores we stumble onto blind and fragile pulled through waters by unanswered questions just to find community in the shape of shattered glass and mass amnesia like a fog under new moon
But, since when is a warrior afraid of war?
We keep coming because the war sounds like abeng waking us up to teach
We cannot die we are the I am that always be and a war is a blip on the timeline of the galaxy
-- Keisha-Gaye Anderson is a Jamaican-born poet, writer, visual artist, and media professional based in Brooklyn, NY. Her debut poetry collection Gathering the Waters (Jamii Publishing 2014) was accepted into the Poets House Library and the National Library of Jamaica. Her poetry collection Everything Is Necessary was published by Willow Books in 2019. Another collection, A Spell for Living, received the Editors’ Choice recognition for the Numinous Orisons, Luminous Origin Literary Award, and is forthcoming from Agape Editions as a multimedia e-book, including music and Keisha’s original artwork in 2020. Keisha’s poetry, fiction, and essays have been widely published in national literary journals, magazines, and anthologies that include Kweli Literary Journal, Small Axe Salon, Interviewing the Caribbean, Renaissance Noire, The Caribbean Writer, The Killens Review of Arts and Letters, Mosaic Literary Magazine, African Voices Magazine, Streetnotes: Cross Cultural Poetics, Caribbean in Transit Arts Journal, The Mom Egg Review, and others. Keisha is a past participant of the VONA Voices and Callaloo writing workshops, a former fellow of the North Country Institute for Writers of Color, and was short-listed for the Small Axe Literary Competition. In 2018, Keisha was selected as a Brooklyn Public Library Artist in Residence. Her visual art has been featured in exhibitions in the tristate area and in such literary journals as The Adirondack Review, Joint Literary Magazine, and No, Dear magazine. Keisha began her career as a journalist, having written for national consumer magazines like Psychology Today, Teen People, Black Enterprise, and Honey, and working as a producer or associate producer on documentary programming for networks like CBS, PBS, and NHK (Japanese television). She currently works as a communications director for a large public college in New York City. Keisha regularly teaches English courses across The City University of New York, and also leads writing workshops for non-profits and other organizations. She is a graduate of the Syracuse University Newhouse School and College of Arts and Sciences, and holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from The City College, CUNY