Corey Harvard is a poet and songwriter from Mobile, Alabama. His work can be
found in publications such as The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes, Pirene's Fountain, Sense Magazine and
Literary Mobile. He has served as associate editor for Sonnetto Poesia
and editor-in-chief for Oracle Fine Arts Review. In 2009, he was
nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He graduated from the University of South
Alabama with a B.A. in English and philosophy. In his free time, he enjoys
cooking and learning.
"for the dead and the living, we must bear witness."
I see the aching words of Elie Wiesel
born in black and white: the metal eyes
of Nazi Germany
numbered numberless, the animalized
who once were men —
will not know
the innocence of childhood again —
and still, the falling ash, the burning snow,
remorseless appetite of sin.
And there am I, entirely, one of them,
lost in the heavy silence of the room
without the power to conquer or condemn
the tyranny, the
terror, or their doom.
Too many think of hell and live in fear
of death, and never know that hell was here.
There must be hundreds of them
punching holes in the
a choir of ivory fingers
declaring without volume,
suggesting without words;
street signs for lost sheep
How many times
have I longed to be
hiding in the shadows
Oh quiet God,
if only I could
open my flesh
and count the sweat stains
If only there were
a ladder long enough
to plant steeples
on the edge of the atmosphere
and point them down
Could I But Show You
Could I but show you how a word can grow
into a thorn that lodges deep within
the softest places of the hardest men,
you wouldn't be so quick to let one go.
In silences, defenseless and alone,
security and self-esteem descend;
ambitions cease and aspirations bend
in the victims of a fatal verbal blow.
If I could show you how a word can rise —
bring laughter, bring excitement, bring rapport,
bring nations out of poverty and war —
perhaps your speech would seek a different guise.
What problems of this world could be deterred
if we revered the value of a word?
House-Sitting the Day After
You left your textbook
open-mouthed, pink highlighter
its dry tongue
a stale cup of coffee.
a fifth grade nose-bleed
when I found your home
sick with suggestion:
scattered mail on the kitchen table,
knife gutting the body
of an envelope,
and your dog,
lost in thought.
when the call came
that your tongue couldn't fashion
but the sound of your sobbing
broke like a siren
as you fled—
stiffened into steel,
bled its colors,
and your car door
like that bullet
the house entire:
hand over mouth,
salt on the counter,
towels in the dryer.