By Rose Maria Woodson

We were already
a constellate people
carrying light
against the dense night
when we were
discovered. We were already
weaving our words
into the wind, watching
them fall, like raindrops, 
soaking  the soil of our souls, 
with seeds of story
glorious story,
stretching forth
tendrils timeless 
rooted in our history.
We were already full vessels of destiny &
did not die in a foreign desert &
did not fear the next step
in the ghost of a garden
in the garden of a ghost where
our tongues turned 
into cellars. We
learned to store language in a cool, dark
lung, hung
each word fresh, unwashed, 
cured to last through a long suffocating

Rose Maria Woodson holds an MA in Creative Writing from Northwestern University and an MA in Community Development from North Park University. She is the author of two chapbooks, Skin Gin (2017 winner in the QuillsEdge Press chapbook contest) and The Ombre Of Absence (Dancing Girl Press) as well as the mini-chapbook, Dear Alfredo (Pen and Anvil Press). Her poems have been published in numerous journals including Kettle Blue Review, Clarion, Gravel, Wicked Alice, OVS Magazine, Magnolia: A Journal of Women’s Socially Engaged Literature, Volume II, Jet Fuel Review, Stirring, Muddy River Poetry Review and the Mojave River Review. Her short story, “Cupcake Payne”, appears in Issue 46 of the Oyez Review.