• One TwentyOne

Hear the Loud Gospel

By Nailah Starks, Dillard University





Her surround sound system was loud enough to confuse

its purpose for her to ignore the devil she’d become intimate with

he greedily kissed her lips and emptied her soul like a pale of water pouring over

pouring over.

Most days she’d found peace at last laboring in the fields workin’ for the white man Keith.

Keith, devil 2 who never gave her the credit she deserved.

She was a poet

a mother, a woman.

And the only thing keeping her from Heaven was the man,

the Gospels and herself.

And she, another of the same kind.

Her car radio sang to the Heavens, inviting angels to dance with her.

Oh, she smiles. But smiles can be deceiving.

Happy she was and convinced she was also that the Gospels would cloud God’s judgment of her deeds.

Like the mind’s illusion of a flower or a butterfly when it is only a dead bird.

Consequence she paid to bear the fare of four lives.

Four lives.

Toxic, she altered worlds like The Matrix and everyone only lived in the playground.

The Devil worshipped her obedience and admired her will to destroy

they often found themselves secured in each other’s embrace masked by white fur and fluffy ears.

She was a caregiver.

A mother, a woman.

And the only thing keeping her from Heaven was that man,

the Gospels and herself.




About the Author


Nailah Starks is a 20-year old Sophomore English major at Dillard University with a vision to become a successful teacher and writer. Her poetry has been published in the 2019 and 2020 Appelley Rising Stars collection as well as the 2020 Upon Arrival anthology by Eber and Wein Publishing. She also has her own blog, Praying Girl, and her own business, N&N Charms. Nailah's personal mission statement is to educate, influence, transform, and inspire people who face adversity through her writings and personal experiences.












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