The Daughters of Samuel Little

Faylita Hicks

left unburied to rot, black girlswrithe on asphalt. their shadows seethe& seek out their ancestors. call on papalegba in search of roots. seek a denouementfor black girls. call on all living & lived& lost. but black girls blend intobackwoods. slip into soil. feed crops.all unburied, cut in. out. shimmerin back-road ditches. fauna lost.seek a truth to their sentence & exile.hovering, the night opera. never enoughof a problem here. gorged sewers cough.exile now sounds sovereign. like it's a gift.a little air. black girls abandon this town. a blessing.absent the gris-gris. absent the wool cut. trickleback into rusted pipelines. blood in the water.moan. sputter. cling to hands bleached clean.they know that there is never enough evidence.become a curse on the head of this city. becomethe aching in this asphalt for: something.

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Faylita Hicks (she/her/they) is a writer and directly-impacted organizer specializing in pre-trial justice reform in rural communities and the cultural impact of trauma on queer Black people. They are the author of the poetry collection, HoodWitch (Acre Books, 2019), and the Managing Editor of Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review. They hold an MFA in Creative Writing from Sierra Nevada College and were awarded fellowships from Lambda Literary, Jack Jones Literary Arts, and Tin House. A finalist for the 2018 PEN America Writing for Justice Fellowship, they were also awarded grants from the San Marcos Arts Commission in 2017 and 2019. In December 2019, their incarceration story was featured in PBS’s Independent Lens Documentary Series. Their writing has been published in or is forthcoming in Adroit, Barrelhouse, The Cincinnati Review, Huffington Post, Longreads, Poetry Magazine, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Daily, The Rumpus, Slate Magazine, Texas Monthly, Texas Observer and others.
 

Cincinnati, Ohio

University of Cincinnati

"What is the difference between a god and a Gawd? What makes a woman a HoodWitch? Faylita Hicks speaks masterfully on the homespun magic of Black women, women who use 'dime store candles' and Florida water to heal their wounds and care for themselves in a world that does not care for them. As much as these poems are battle cries, there is a sadness and a violence to them too. Gawdliness demands sacrifice. HoodWitch is a testament to the lineage of power, vulnerability, and strength."
— Christina Orlando

"What an exhilarating collection Faylita Hicks's HoodWitch is. . . . Visceral, riveting, and somehow both heartbreaking and empowering. The words lick at you from its pages like potent flames."
— Jami Attenberg, author of All This Could Be Yours

"Charged with surreal images and personal history, HoodWitch is an exciting debut that haunts at every possible turn. This richly imaginative world in which all is possible and time and space are merely distant constraints explores the hunger for intimacy and the constant remains of absence. This collection reminds that the truest representation of emotional truth is best derived through the fantastic. Each poem is a special magic that inhabits the deepest parts of the psyche, digs in, and resists forgetting."
— Airea D. Matthews, 2016 Yale Series of Younger Poets winner

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