How awful, I say in tweet and reply. How terrible. Disgusting! Enraging. Why? What a monster. How awful. My heart. Round face, single tear emoji. What is even happening? Who are we? I heart the posts that share my mood, I heart the posts that implicate me. I put my phone down and take out the chicken that has been defrosting on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator for nearly three days. I begin to ease out of my worry. I begin to reach for the salt, white pepper, without thinking of the shooter, his victims, his whiteness. I begin to move into my own whiteness. The blank page, the paper towel I use to absorb excess condensation. To keep the meat dry and to crisp up the skin. Eventually, I feel the same as I did a day ago. I am not a bad p e r s o n
Courtney Bambrick is poetry editor at Philadelphia Stories. Her poem “Flesh & Fat & the Universe” was recently part of Trapeta Mayson’s Healing Verse Philly Poetry Line. Her chapbook Rape Baby, a runner up in the 2013 Pavement Saw chapbook competition, was later published as “Caring for Your Rape” in the Body Map series at The Fanzine. Other poems have appeared in print or online at outlets including Philadelphia Poets, Apiary, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Mad Poets Review, and Certain Circuits. She teaches writing at Thomas Jefferson University’s East Falls campus in Philadelphia.
Elizabeth Wing is a writer with a secret photography practice. Delicate Armour, shot in Berlin in early 2020, is her first artifact of this practice to be made public.