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“capital T-e capital Q-u-a-s-z-h-i-a (pronounced tuh-KWAY-zhuh)” is a product of post-midnight grinding, a nod to Miss Quvenzhané Wallis from “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” This poem is for Danikwa, Jahleequa, Kandake, and Santique, for their parents and their parents’ parents. For my sisters Nichelle, Narayani, Lisa, Eshonda. For Tatanisha and Azalisha. For Shakeeba and Makia, for Freaka and Shameeka. You take my breath away.
Amber Atiya’s poems have appeared in Gathering of the Tribes Magazine, Drunkenboat, and Coloring Book, an anthology of poetry and fiction. She is a 2012 Poets House Emerging Poets Fellow and member of a women’s writing group celebrating 11 years this spring.