• Marías at Sampaguitas

Poetry by Khalisa Rae

Updated: Aug 13

Sky- Scraper Women


All around me women are brick

laying. Hands filthy from mortar,


fingernails red from clay packed

together to mold their fortress.

Each level a stepping stone

to climb higher and leave

this humble ground behind. Each

wall evidence their army has grown stronger. But I crave the simple

mud and seed,


the promise of solid earth beneath my feet. I need the exposed,

fertile soil surrounding me,


need to see my branches sprout

in open field- a reminder

I have room to grow.


I prefer my oak tree to their skyscraper.

We are not live wires; being grounded

is a good thing.




Khalisa Rae (she/her) is a native of North Carolina and is a graduate of the Queens University MFA program. Her recent work has been seen in Damaged Goods, Terse, Sundog Lit, Crab Fat, Glass Poetry, Luna, Luna, Brave Voices, Hellebore,  Honey & Lime, Tishman Review, the Obsidian, Anchor Magazine, among others. She was a finalist in the Furious Flower Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize, winner of the Fem Lit Magazine Contest, and White Stag Publishing Contest. She is Consulting Editor for Kissing Dynamite. Her forthcoming collection, Ghost in a Black Girls Throat is forthcoming from Red Hen Press and White Stag in 2021. She is also the newest Managing Equity and Inclusion Editor of Carve Magazine.

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