Ekphrastic collaborations

Before #NationalPoetryMonth ends, here’s a new poem that is part of my collaboration with our extremely talented County Chief Deputy Attorney Rebecca M. Archer! This poem was inspired by Rebecca’s painting, “Great Expectations.”

Rebecca Archer’s Great Expectations

—after Maya Angelou

Aileen Cassinetto

It is sunrise, with hope its arrogant/ rider. How it sprang up, buoyed,/ as I ran to catch the bus and almost/ missed it. There’s a heartbeat in my throat./ Pretend I’m a rain bird or a fire horse/ fueled by miracles. I’m here/ short-winded and salted trying to catch/ my breath standing near the front of the bus/ gripping a handhold that is too high/ for me. I am radiant and impossible,/ and there’s a bird caged in my throat, a poem/ in my pocket that aches to gallop, let go/ the handhold. Pretend I’m a versicle,/ a miracle, the hope that gets you going.

The third photo features Rebecca wood-burning my poem Haint Blue into the frame of her painting inspired by my poem and Faith Ringgold’s work. Rebecca’s one-woman art show, TAKING UP SPACE, is opening on May 9th at The Caldwell Gallery sponsored by the Office of Arts and Culture. Rebecca says, “TAKING UP SPACE is a love letter to our Black Bodies… that to exist unapologetically is a form of revolution… TAKING UP SPACE is an exhibit about existing in our fullness, our brightness, our loudness, and even our discomfort.”

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