- The Exchange: To Our Flags
- The Exchange: The Negro Speaks of Dryland
- The Exchange: blue is darker than Black
- The Exchange: Sans Fleur
- The Exchange: Blindspot
- The Exchange: Her.
- The Exchange: Lint
- The Exchange: Reality Check
- The Exchange: Caution
- The Exchange: Rubik’s Cube
- The Exchange: The Path
- The Exchange: sTREEtS
- The Exchange: Butter
- The Exchange: The Bright Side
- The Exchange: Concrete to Shoreline
- This Empty Cage
- Paper Machete
- The Exchange: Marketplace
- The Exchange: One Year Anniversary
- The Exchange: Sunscreen Affective Disorder (SAD)
- The Exchange: Immigration & Culture
- The Exchange: Love, Street Cleaning, & Other Myths
- The Exchange: An Accent Enters a Room and Says Good Morning
- The Exchange: An ode to Oceania
- The Exchange: Happy New Year
- The Exchange: NEW GROOVE/LODESTAR
- The Exchange: Wolves, Strides, and Landslides
- The Exchange: Honest Haikus
- The Exchange: Foreheads, Haikus and More
- The Exchange: Softness, Water Bottles, and Movie Theaters
- The Exchange: Algae and Understanding
- The Exchange: we like it here!
- The Exchange: tag & waiting
- The Exchange: spare
- The Exchange: Marketplace
- The Exchange: some coffee
The Exchange is the Weekly’s poetry corner, where a poem or piece of writing is presented with a prompt. Readers are welcome to respond to the prompt with original poems, and pieces may be featured in the next issue of the Weekly.
by Chima “Naira” Ikoro
and I looked everywhere for those jeans;
the only pair of jeans that really made me feel like a girl;
the tomboy’s redemption; my path to a femininity that fit.
I liked dresses. They did not like me back.
I told them to take a number and get in line.
Dug through every pile of clothes and every drawer and scanned every hanging garment searched my brothers room mommy and daddy’s dresser the coat closet by the door every basket in the laundry room the lint trap behind the washer and then the basement.
all over. everywhere.
there are so many places to hide here.
we should really get rid of some of this stuff.
I’m pretty sure I thought I found them,
but I wasn’t certain—for some reason they didn’t look the same.
maybe they got washed wrong, or dried wrong.
maybe I never really knew what those jeans looked like.
maybe I needed a new pair anyway.
Never found another pair like them.
I’ve worn a lot of jeans that made me feel
like someone my crush would call cute
Found out I don’t really care.
Do you live in what makes you feel safe, or do you find yourself hiding there?
This could be a poem, journal entry, or a stream-of-consciousness piece. Submissions could be new or formerly written pieces.
Submissions can be sent to bit.ly/ssw-exchange or via email to email@example.com.
Featured below is a reader response to a previous prompt. The last poem and prompt can be found here.
by Kae Osei
after Invictus by William Henley
fear is crippling
is a thief.
my hands may be ragged
and voice hoarse,
but hope hangs low from sallows—
and so my new groove:
when I awake in the dawn
with the yearn to do,
I blaze war on stagnation;
peace be my muse.
when times were thundering
with unrecognizable defeat,
the insurmountable suffering
I say this too, I will beat.
in the face it all,
I hold myself close.
keep my head in the clouds,
get my sunshine dose.
looking at life lacquered,
speak of milk & honey.
find reasons to sing, holla,
shriek, & make funny.
& to the Black Stars,
who always guide us home,
Black as the abyss I sprung from;
I thank you for my restless soul.