Sunday Morning

Maya Marshall

Hunger and the radio call us to the kitchenette.Mama and that nasty-ass Bill at the table with paring knifeand lime sipping gin already.Mama say, “Go ’head. Show Bill what all you can do.”Mama and that nasty-ass Bill at the table watch me dropmy hip like little Sally Walker.Mama say, “Go ’head, show Bill what all you can do.”Twist and twirl. Blossoming at ten, I can tear.Watch me drop my hip like little Sally Walker with a paringknife and lime. Watch me twist and twirl in time. Blossom, tear.Hunger and the radio call us to the kitchenette.

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Headshot of Maya Marshall
Ashley Kaushinger

Maya Marshall is the author of All the Blood Involved in Love. She is cofounder of underbelly, the journal on the practical magic of poetic revision. Marshall has taught at Emory University and Northwestern University. She holds fellowships from MacDowell, Cave Canem, Vermont Studio Center and elsewhere. Her writing has been published in Boston Review, Crazyhorse, Best New Poets, and elsewhere. She works as an editor at Haymarket Books, and she is an assistant professor of English and creative writing at Adelphi University.

“Confounded, mesmerized and enraged, women gaze long at their mothers. They rejoice and recoil at the possibility of sons and the sudden inevitable disappearing of sons. Craving just one unconquered root, they collect and shed lovers, some who are quivering mirrors, some edges that might be blades. Fathers boom tenet from every crevice. Never quite pinpointing the source of pain, women clutch tight their own bodies to hold in the hurricane. This work—penned as backslap for the black woman intending to stomp into, through and beyond the existence she is laughingly "allowed"—harbors the hurricane's unrepentant muscle. Enter and risk. Enter and live.”
—Patricia Smith, author of Incendiary Art

All the Blood Involved in Love is at once the most Southern, most feminist, and Blackest book I have ever read. Maya Marshall witnesses the way we used that word in the old church, through a language so polished and exact that we feel cleansed by it as readers. This is a beautiful debut from a game-changing poet.”
—Jericho Brown, author of The Tradition

All the Blood Involved in Love is a lyrical work of psychological and temporal complexity gripped by questions of freedom, trauma, desire, imagination, and possibilities of Black girlhood and womanhood in the U.S. It is at once sensuous and terrifying, taut and lush, as in: ‘Do these trees know? / Do these trees know the grazing hem, the line / between sweet heat and deep sweat? // The woman(’s) sex. Her hanging. They must. / Her hair is made of them.’ I'm saying, this stunningly shiftful, strange, and exact book interrogates the histories with which our blood and time are written. It insists that there is power in such scrutiny. I'm saying, her Eye's on this: ‘To save my life, I undress this disarray.’”
—Aracelis Girmay, author of the black maria

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