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POETRY / Landscape with Margins / Christine Taylor


after Zora Neale Hurston


When her voice cracks mid-sentence
            a dove fallen from flight 

Silence envelopes the table
            lips pressed thin 

Clenched hands, another shovels
            lunch into his gaping mouth 

Without looking up from the plate
a napkin hits the tile floor.       

I’ve stepped out of the tight lane
            they’ve drawn for me 

Edges painted in heavy white lines
            to keep me on the[ir] straight and narrow. 

Discomfort bleaches the room
            against this sharp white background            

I stand on a bed of nails

Christine Taylor identifies as multiracial and is an English teacher and librarian residing in her hometown Plainfield, New Jersey. She is the EIC of Kissing Dynamite: A Journal of Poetry and the author of The Queen City (Broken Sleep Books, 2019). Christine has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and her work appears in Glass, Turtle Island Responds, Haibun Today, and The Rumpus among others. Right now, she’s probably covered in cat hair and drinking a martini. Visit her at