Poets

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Lauren Russell

Lauren Russell is the author of What’s Hanging on the Hush (Ahsahta, 2017). She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, Cave Canem, and VIDA/The Home School. She is a research assistant professor and is assistant director of the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics at the University of Pittsburgh.

Lauren Russell
Photo credit: Heather Kresge Photography

By This Poet

1

from Descent

Bob:
 
Can I be your lazy eye, your wander-
lust, your grave without a headstone,
your bleeding gums, your buck teeth
and your walk bowlegged at the knee? Can
I be your fortune hunter, your glimpse
of wild geese, your red russet shoes
that poison the feet? Reckon this is the best
of my seed. Been stripping cane and blind
robbing the bees. Reckon you’ve thought
of swimming the creek. Last night they came
on horseback, white hoods like phantoms
scanning the trees, burning torches, shattering
sleep. I dragged the shotgun from the door
and stepped squinting onto the porch.