At first the silence was so small,
I could always hear it but never could stop it from breaking.
Then the silence was so loud,
I almost couldn’t talk over it.
it would smother my voice until it was only affirmation.
And then came a haunting silence, that only I could hear, a monster,
dressed as something gruesome, that turned out to be me.
After that the silence was small again but, not in the same way.
It was small in the way a bomb is before it explodes.
Then, a silence unexpected,
A polite silence, that filled the room with questions and
This is when the silence changed into something else all together.
The silence was not only mine,
It was every woman’s, every black and brown child’s, the oppressed
with the oppressor’s hand sealed over their mouth and nose.
Then a silence for only me,
A silence that I was born into,
A bloody, birth of a silence,
It stumbled out of my mother’s womb and planted itself in my
And finally, at last,
Louder than the loudest silences
Laughing as loud as I could
And no one saying a
|Dakotah Jennifer is a twenty-year-old black writer currently attending Washington University in St. Louis. She started writing poetry at eight and has loved it ever since. Jennifer has been published in Across the Margin, HerStry, Popsugar, The Pinch Journal, Protean Mag, Apartment Poetry, Paintbucket.page, The Grief Diaries, The Confessionalist Zine, Oral Rinse Zine, and Ripple Zine. She was accepted into the Juniper Writing Workshop at Amherst and the Writing Workshops Paris with Carve Magazine for the 2021 year. She won Washington University’s Harriet Schwenk Kluver award for the 2018-2019 year. Her first chapbook, Fog, is published with Bloof Books, and her second chapbook/zine, Safe Passage, was recently released with Radical Paper Press.|
Shannon Wolf is a British writer and teacher, living in Louisiana. She is currently a joint MA-MFA candidate in Poetry at McNeese State University. She is the Non-Fiction Editor of The McNeese Review and Social Media Intern for Sundress Publications. She also holds an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University. Her poetry, short fiction, and non-fiction (which can also be found under the name Shannon Bushby) have appeared in The Forge and Great Weather for Media, among others. You can find her on social media @helloshanwolf.