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Kyla Marshell

Years: 2010, 2011, 2013


Kyla Marshell’s work has appeared in BlackbirdCalyx, Gawker, The Guardian, O, the Oprah Magazine, and on the Poetry Foundation. Her work has earned her Cave Canem and Jacob K. Javits fellowships, two residencies to the Vermont Studio Center, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. In 2013, named her one of "7 Young Black Writers You Should Know." A Spelman College graduate originally from Boston, she grew up in Silver Spring, MD, Morehead, KY, and Portland, ME, and now lives in New York.


The Penelope Metaphor

I forgot to mention: I’m in love. It can’t work. At least that’s what I hear about these inter-borough romances. We are separated by bridges and rivers, our distant points on the continuum of common sense. He has to “do his thing,” a catchall answer to the questions I pose. Alternatively, he has to “keep it real.” Give it time is written in long-last mascara on my bathroom mirror. My prayer beads have darkened with my dirt. My knees are sore from all the heaven-begging. I am another woman cast into another eternal queue. Call my number, I say to whoever is listening. I wave my little ticket, hoping to catch God’s eye.


Originally appeared in Calyx