dark, lovely, and limitless by Michele Evans

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These poems are part of a special section of the Mid-Atlantic Review, Celebrating Black History, and selected by editors Khadijah Ali-Coleman, Carolivia Herron, and Rebecca Bishophall. To learn more about this series read a blog post on the Day Eight website here.

dark, and lovely, and limitless

for alice

her story does not begin or end in february,
it cannot be celebrated, appreciated, or narrated
in twenty-eight short days for her beauty
is dark, and lovely, and limitless

she hails from purple mountains majesty
east african fields, her mother’s land
draped in amethyst petals, leaves jaded
in velvet, crowns rooted in smoky quartz

she thrives despite being dormant,
buried underneath tiny granules,
surviving in sediment, parched soil
miseries from centuries of neglect

she paints to remain visible in low light,
splattered hues ranging from ink to iris,
her blackest moments canvassed in iron
and indigo, a portrait of her life in bloom

her story does not begin or end in february,
it cannot be celebrated, appreciated, or narrated
in twenty-eight short days for her name
is saintpaulia ionantha, an african violet

whose beauty is dark, and lovely, and limitless.

Michele Evans, a fifth-generation Washingtonian (D.C.), is a writer, high school English teacher, and adviser for her school’s literary magazine, Unbound. Despite always wearing the color black, she exhibits a certain fondness for blueberries, blue hydrangeas, blues musicians, and Blue Mountain coffee. This 2023 Pushcart Prize nominee and winner of the ASP Bulletin poetry contest has been published in Artemis, Maryland Literary Review, Sky Island Journal, The Write Launch, and elsewhere. purl, her debut collection of poetry, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in 2025. You can find her at awordsmithie.com or @awordsmithie on Instagram.

Featured image in this post is: “African Violets Photo Test” by Henrysz, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Editor
Editorhttp://www.dayeight.org
Bourgeon’s mission, through our online publication and community initiatives, is twofold: to increase participation in the arts and to improve access to the arts. Bourgeon is a project of the not-for-profit Day Eight.
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