deity’s daughter

//deity’s daughter

deity’s daughter

By Nikia Chaney

memories are
like the ringing
of bells sharp
bells she
hangs on
the trees
on the hair of her
little girl the little
girl who
shakes her
braids to feel
cool beads
bang on the ear
the shoulder
blade we walk
to catch sweat
and dew
in the morning sweat
and salt and warm
cold so the woman
the woman places
the dark blanket on
the curled up child
the child kissing
us with wind and need
loneliness echoing
and losing itself down
the hall all
these stars buzzing
their pools on the sidewalk
a black sidewalk
full of chalk black
buildings scored
in the heart the
braid in her
hair falling
loose how we would
do anything
to give her a world
in which she had
worth and i
remember yesterday
she drew a dandelion
up to the sky
and blew and
blew and we clung
onto skirts
and we learned
to breathe


Nikia Chaney is the current Inlandia Literary Laureate (2016-2018). She is the author of two chapbooks, Sis Fuss (Orange Monkey Publishing, 2012) and ladies, please (dancing girl press, 2012). She is founding editor of shufpoetry, an online journal for experimental poetry, and founding editor of Jamii Publishing, a publishing imprint dedicated to fostering community among poets and writers. She has won grants from the Money for Women Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, Poets & Writers and Cave Canem. She teaches at San Bernardino Valley College. Visit Nikia’s website at

Photo credit: Shardayyy via a Creative Commons license.

By | 2017-06-01T08:05:20+00:00 May 25th, 2017|Categories: Issue 26: 25 May 2017|Tags: , , |1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Nancy Dunlop 2017-06-01 at 5:15 am

    Wonderful. So proud to be a fellow contributor and a member of this talented community.

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