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GONE. HERE. by Kai Davis

Golden Shovel after Muddy Waters

You empty my momma’s house and don’t

visit. Once you came to us yellow faced and you

did not say sorry. We are sick with the holes you left and i know you are too fleshless to apologize but i want to be let go. Daddy I’m always tense with grief—how i have to carry how you aren’t here.

There are songs we used to dance to. Now i slip on the ash with every wail. You stole all the good things and replaced them with your dead body. Momma gave away your clothes and now there’s a new man that knows how to disrupt the room with the howl of your absence. I’m

tired of you always finding new ways to be here.


KAI DAVIS is a writer, performer and teaching artist from Philadelphia. In 2016 she received her Bachelors in both African American Studies and English from Temple University. Between 2012 and 2016 Kai Davis was the Artistic Director of The Babel Poetry Collective. She has performed for TEDX Philly, CNN, BET, PBS, and NPR, among others. She is a two time international grand slam champion, winning Brave New Voices in 2011 and The College Union Poetry Slam Invitational in 2016. She is a member of the Philadelphia Poet Laureate committee and a 2017 Leeway Transformation Award Recipient. Right now she spends most of her time working as Poetry Editor for Apiary Magazine and as an Organizer/Artistic Director for The Philly Pigeon. She also visits high schools and local non profit organizations, teaching poetry to marginalized and under-served young folk. When she is not in Philly, she tours colleges and universities across the country, performing her original work and facilitating writing workshops.


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