Erika DeShay

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Erika DeShay

Dream Recurring – August

Labyrinth of stairs,
hallway closing in
spiraling up.

Each stair concrete,
an echo of
foot falls.

Geometric gray wall,
color of fog
or heather.

Up up up,
each turn frustratingly
the same.

Solid metal door
pushed to its
magnetic hook.

Empty school corridors,
distant heel clicks
a metronome.

One child alone,
tripping over laces
left untied.

Two desks askew,
blue-backed sled
silver baskets.

Three windows wide,
another hall open
no ending.

More and more,
stairs, walls, doors
a darkness.

My Black face,
a bounding sea
of white.

Labyrinth of stairs,
hallway opening up
but spiraling down

into oblong stretches
of wobbling window
sills and desks

upside down,
peering into classroom
after classroom,

no one and everyone
in an office

for me.
Blackness in white space
blank paper swirling
a tornado

grabbing for me, I
am teacher and student
and giver and wanderer
and and and…

Erika DeShay reads “Dream Recurring – August”


Erika DeShay is a Black poet and English teacher living in Denver, Colorado. Erika’s work has been published in Spoken Black Girl, Fatal Flaw, 45 Magazine, and Half and One.