- 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
This section publishes creative writing submissions from the public that do not necessarily reflect the views of the South Side Weekly or its editors.
by Chima “Naira” Ikoro
for Bryan Snow; Happy Heavenly Birthday
But he’s my friend, Jesus must have said.
All the blind I have given sight,
all the broken I have redeemed,
all the deaf who gasp. their first sound–my voice
just for me to hear my
friend. and I loved every last one of those
who needed me, even before
and if they never agreed.
But Lazarus? Lazarus was my friend.
And there it was; the shortest verse in the Bible with the longest sound;
Yesterday, and on your last birthday, I did not get it.
But today, sitting in my car,
in a parking lot off 55th,
in the rain, as my tears speak: but he was my friend,
and when I heard
I could not manage to just cry.
And I imagine that the apostles and all the Mary’s,
seeing Jesus spread like eagle wings,
couldn’t help but feel “Yes, He’s our savior, our messiah,
but He was also my family. He was also
Less important, but so deeply saddening
to consider the pain a person must feel
as they identify the spot an angel was just
Used to be more than just a tomb to be vacated.
My friend, I wept. You were my friend.
Chima Ikoro is the community organizing editor for the Weekly. She last wrote about segregation in Chicago.
Write an honest piece that challenges the shame that is often associated with grief.
This could be a poem 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured below is a reader response to a previous prompt. The last poem and prompt can be found here.
by Chris Cantele
The whispers of a gentle breeze
Movement in tall grass
Deep sounds of the ocean
Sultry smell in the air
The paths of us are many
The depths of our sorrow profound
The songs of our joy amazing
The light of our dreams brilliant
Would you share parts of my path?
Would you laugh and cry with me?
Would you breathe the silence between us?
Just take my hand, touch me.
Chris Cantele is a poet from South Loop. You can find him on Instagram @cantele3!