(18th street nw, adams morgan)
sunday morning at the church
of the almighty bean, brown
and ground, and begged by hot
water for mercy. the beaten copper
ceiling blooming fleurs-de-lis,
the skylights painted on. i do believe
there's a factory where they press
out plush chairs, the velour upholstery
orange and aged, just for consumers
of the cup of joe. we butter
and cream our plain and sesame
seed bread, commune across our holy
mochas, our bibles fresh and hot
off the presses, rattling as we fold back
pages with inky fingertips. ella
sings a solo, cd sunday morning
diva, do it, sistah, hallelujah!
salvation, a mugful, is close at hand.
Evie Shockley's poetry collection, a half-red
sea, is forthcoming in 2006 from Carolina Wren Press, which also
published her chapbook, The Gorgon Goddess (2001). Her work
has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Brilliant Corners,
Bum Rush the Page, Callaloo, and Crab Orchard
Review. A Cave Canem fellow, she was awarded a residency at the
Hedgebrook women writers' retreat center in 2003. Shockley teaches
literature and creative writing at Rutgers University.
Volume 7, Number 3, Summer 2006.