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Disability

What We Be

by Camisha L. Jones

Hear Camisha L. Jones read “What We Be” from the Disability issue (vol. 29, no. 1: Spring 2023).

An Ekphrastic poem after Beyoncé’s Lemonade

We the exhale
Our confidence

We the pot of greens
Our hands

We the floor
We every grief

We the wait
Our mouths

We the magnolia tree

the submerge
a ripe orange

the salt pork
clean the grit

the sink
fed to us

the wait
fill with leftovers

its sweet

the silence
a vitamin cure

the liquor
give and give the portions

the kitchen’s back door
at the breakfast table

the push on in spite of
sour with thanks

its shade

We sit in a bed of no name flowers

Our thorned feet
Our callused hands
Our voices lifted

planted like roses
intertwined in the moon’s shadow
a blossoming song


CAMISHA L. JONES is a 2022 Disability Futures Fellow and the author of Flare (Finishing Line Press, 2017), a poetry chapbook focused largely on her experiences with hearing loss and chronic pain. Her poems have been published in the New York Times, Poets.org, Button Poetry, The Deaf Poets Society, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Typo, The Quarry, and elsewhere. For eight years, Jones served as managing director at Split This Rock, a national nonprofit that cultivates, teaches, and celebrates poetry that bears witness to injustice and provokes change. She is a coeditor for a forthcoming anthology of disability poetry with Travis Chi Wing Lau, Naomi Ortiz, and Michael Northen. You can find Camisha on Twitter and Instagram as @1Camisha.

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