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It's Shanti, your queer baby sister here! 

Ashanti Marshall is a digital archivist, experiential writer and staff scribe at For The Scribes, spearheading Recovering Softcover, an advice column catering to writers and their inner woes within their craft and themselves. Based in Chicago, being a fat, black queer and femme moment in time. Their relationship to the practice of understanding makes room for explorations, experimentations, mistakes, failures and curiosities in their writing. Connect with them on Twitter and Instagram asking you all the right, real, riveting questions.


The Invocation Poem from Spill

The Invocation Poem from Spill

BY: Alexis Pauline Gumbs, queer Black feminist love evangelist and author of Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity.

the ground shakes with us 

the gathering women 

grows rich grows brown grows deep

the gathered hands women 

grown brown grown women 

the sure determined feet 

the ground grows everything we eat 

the graceful stomping women heading home 

ungrateful women populating poems

the ground has everything it needs 

we have never been alone

the sky sings for us

the rainmaking women the rage-taking women 

the blood

the sky so open so nose wide open 

can’t refuse the shape of our lungs 

can’t bear to remain above 

the sky sees the shoulders that shrug off hate 

and celebrate and hug

the sky slows the rhythm by falling out 

and down and done and drug 

the sky begins to know itself 

we breathe it in as love


the water waits for us

the wide-eyed women the walking women the worst 

the water washes the war wrung women

the wailers the whistle the first

the water waists of the undrowned women 

the hope floats women the strong

the water knows us 

the whole-note women

the half-step harmony song 


the fire frees us 

the fast-ass women the fall-in-love women the freaks 

the fire is full of the all-out women 

the walk-out women the sweet

the fire is finding the love-lost women 

the worth-it women the ones

fire is blazing the brash blues women 

the black-eyed women

the wiry women with guns

the fire is becoming the sun 

our work here is not done

For Willyce

For Willyce