Souls for a Quick Come-up

by DeShara Suggs-Joe

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

–Mark 8:36

souls for honey                souls for matching socks  souls for loose change  souls for loose squares  souls for loose  souls for MTA fare  souls for polices badges souls for jammed guns   souls for souls    souls for clean teeth   souls for full stomachs  souls for health insurance                souls for orgasms   souls for good grades   souls for good   souls for debt      souls for spells  souls for fire  souls for flowers    souls    souls for rest   souls for anxiety  souls for faith   souls for Jesus  souls for the blood   souls for the bloody    souls oh souls souls for gel pens     souls for getting out of the bed   souls for the begging   souls for Popeye’s chicken sandwiches     souls for vegans    souls for clear liquor  souls for cleanliness    souls to glitter    souls for bodies              souls for corruption     souls to ships  souls for oceans    souls for land   souls for war           souls for asswhoppins   souls for revenge        souls for takeovers     souls for lottery tickets        souls for luck   souls for souls    souls for blacks     souls go black    souls been black   souls for the meek                  souls for reparations   oh those souls for sales   souls for generational wealth   souls for pieces   souls for dinner      souls to taste     souls taste better with hot sauce   souls for hot sauce     souls for kin   souls be kin  souls for calling the souls back   souls for going home   souls for knowing home is always   souls for the north star        souls for sweet potato pie    souls for cornbread    souls for singing a sugary hymn    souls for sermons    souls for remembering   souls be remembering   souls as scars  souls as backwash   souls for backlash   souls for granddaddy  souls for big mama        souls for greenhouse gas   souls for planets      souls for destruction                                                                                                     

Souls for valuables       souls oh souls stay on your ass ‘til you show them the money


DeShara is a queer black poet and the Creative Director of Workshops at Winter Tangerine. She co-founded Daughter’s Tongue and is a former member of the Youth Speaks Collective. She received her MFA in Writing from California College of the Arts. She is a 2016 Callaloo Fellow, 2017 Poetry Incubator Fellow, and a 2018/2019 Pink Door Fellow. She’s been published in Tinderbox Journal, Winter Tangerine, The Texas Review, and others. She’s also been featured on Button Poetry’s YouTube platform. She has performed at the likes of Spotify, Yahoo, and Pinterest but considers home inside a classroom teaching creative writing or listening to her “Feels” playlist on repeat.

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