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Cost of her Bangles underwater.jpg

The ActualCostofHerBangles

She will run the whole way

this time.

When the sea voices tell her to—

chanting shanties,

mouthing driftwood, barracoon songs –

she will run

the whole way

to the breakers.

She will leap the sea wall

when the voices tell her to,

the ankle bangles clanking

against mosquito-worn flesh.

She could tell you their whole

story if you cared to hear –

if the voices demanded that

she’d recite their names

and explain them across

the breaking tide,

and breaking time,

and the clank of bangles she

found one morning

lost in the cursed sands

of the Outer Banks.

They had staved off tarnish and time,

ever-gleaming young,

carrying the captive magic

from the womb of a middle-passage ship.

She wore them as art –

sensuous and hip –

against the flesh-and-bone of her leg.

Now, she must sing the songs

of the ballast people,

their voices keeping time

in her head as she runs

towards the crashing waves,

the sea wall’s wide-spread arms

and the oncoming tide.

E. Doyle-Gillespie

Poet E. Doyle-Gillespie of USA was the grand-prize winner of the 2024 Iridescence Award. He works in law enforcement and enjoys literature, martial arts, travel, and fitness. He 

aspires to be an established voice in the international literary world, sparking important discussions through his creations. 

On Maggie,

Turned Revenant

Resurrected,

this time by a

creole conjure woman’s

muttered oath,

she came shuffling up

from the hollow

where they buried her

facedown.

She found the old plantation,

again, gone for good.

Grown over, hanging sad

with Spanish moss,

and weeping its paint chips

into a Gulf breeze,

it welcomed her back.

It moaned as her ragged

feet, now unbound,

tested its dry, wooden floors.

This sojourn home,

she wanted to see what was left

of the kitchen,

and the pantry,

and the parlor,

and the study

where he would have her arch

her body over his books,

and their angry, white magic.

She went up from the hollow

to see what was left

in the empty skull of

the broken, big house,

remembering

she could now go up

the wide front steps,

touch the pillars

for a moment more, and,

when she was ready,

walk through the front door.

More poetry of E. Doyle-Gillespie will be available in the upcoming Iridescence anthology. Pre-order today. 

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