Evie Shockley


(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.


Published in Volume 7, Number 3, Summer 2006.