Who’s to say I came out of the womb triumphant and beckoning, suckling sunlight and justice with indignant power, bewildered eyes ablaze to teach and be taught, or renting immaculate spaces with poise and unconscious infatuation. Suppose the wind coughed me out into this new world and then made me stand up and become my surroundings-when I could stand, I became like a winding road, not knowing where to go or who to lead. Knowledge kept me breathlessly rotating and regenerating but ideas never came fresh. Someone else explained it to be round, not flat. Someone said we don’t rotate it, it rotates us. I said, “Whatever.” The arguments didn’t stop the seasons or the countdown. Years passed and fell from the sky as spring follows winter and summer turns autumn to winter and that cold hurriedly seeps into the bones (where the memories can’t) characteristics once clenched tightly: clarity, knowledge, and grace- now just words on a grave stone. So I pack up and leaf through time periods or frozen thoughts in seconds that passed slowly, but now seem distant and forlorn. I am left either facing this road and walking till its end or studying myself until I find my place with God.
Our second poet-in-residence, Katelyn Durst, is a community artist, creative activist, teacher and youth worker. She has worked within urban youth development and urban community development for ten years and has taught poetry for six years, recently conducting poetry therapy workshops at a youth psychiatric hospital and Freedom Schools summer programming in a workshop focused on healing from the unjust deaths of youth of color. Katelyn is currently pursuing a master’s in Urban Studies and Community Arts from Eastern University with a focus on trauma-informed art-making to build sustainable and transformative resiliency within urban/inner-city and displaced communities. In her spare time, she dreams of becoming an urban beekeeper.