The Heel of Marsha: A poem by Travis Alabanza

Christa Jarrold

Illustration Christa Jarrold


I step with the heel of Marsha and the toe of Morris.

Dodge glances with the precision of Baldwin

Click on the floor with the force of Malcom,

X marks the spot in which to be only in past is to be in privilege.


I do not know a single binary that makes sense.

And history and present feels something created by them

But you and I know that our stories are never that simple.

We are not afforded the luxury of resting peacefully.


Instead we walk with the power of our history,

voice opens and out comes the us, over the I,

eye shuts as one hundred other’s watch for you,

a hug that feels to warm to just be in this lifetime.


To be just an individual is to settle in lonely,

to recognise our history is to stand with in present,

to know Black is to feel time not make sense

to understand how we can live both dead and still breathing.


Our history is my ancestors past,

which is your today,

and their tomorrow.


Christa Jarrold

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