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Clint Smith

Clint Smith is the author of Counting Descent (Write Bloody Publishing, 2016), winner of the 2017 Literary Award for Best Poetry Book from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Art for Justice Fund, the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, Cave Canem, and the National Science Foundation. He is a doctoral candidate at Harvard University and a 2014 National Poetry Slam champion. In February 2019, Smith served as the guest editor for Poem-a-Day. He lives in Washington, D.C.

By This Poet



On another night
in a hotel
in a room
in a city
flanked by all
that is unfamiliar
I am able to move
my finger along
a glass screen
once across
once vertical
& in seconds
see your mother
smiling in a room
that is our own
that is now so
far away but
also not so far
away at all
& she can place
the small screen
near her belly
& when I speak
I can see you
moving beneath
her skin as if you
knew that this
distance was
only temporary
& what a small
yet profound
joy it is to be some-
where that is not
with you but to
still be with you
& see your feet
dance beneath
her rib cage like
you knew we’d
both be dancing
together soon.