National Poetry Month Day 12: celeste doaks


Poet and journalist celeste doaks is the author of Cornrows and Cornfields (Wrecking Ball Press, UK, 2015). Cornrows was listed as one of the “Ten Best Books of 2015” by Beltway Quarterly Poetry. Doaks garnered a 2015 Pushcart Prize nomination. Her most recent poetry project is as editor of Not Without Our Laughter (Mason Jar Press, 2017). Her poems have appeared in Asheville Poetry Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, and Bayou Magazine, among others; Doaks currently teaches creative writing at Morgan State University. Find out more at


Night Thoughts or the Place the Blood Stopped
Dedicated to the 49 victims of the Orlando shooting at Pulse nightclub

The bullet bursts
out of a dark hiding, it comes
as an explosion,
a release into open air.
And I am curious to know
about this place
from which the bullet emerges.

Dictionary tells me the word chamber
derives from the Old French’s chambre:
bedroom, or private quarters.
We can go there to rest, to lay,
or frolic with our loves.
It can be a place of prayer
when night’s sleep evades,
or when the world news
becomes a broken record on repeat.

But a chamber
is also an enclosed space
in the body of an organism,
like the four chambers of the heart.
The blood pulsing between each one
sending life into our veins.
Just think, the chamber, the cavity,
the place a bullet comes from
is the very place
the blood stopped coursing,
came to an abrupt halt
on a dance floor, throbbing.

Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →