Chelsea Williams

I remember wading 

in my mother’s womb

Her broken water, 

screams and dilation 

for the end 

of a new beginning


I was made from the softest part of her

The curve and gelital walls of her belly 

The whisper in the middle of the night 

The music of her breath clouding its way

to my uninformed lung 

Instruction on how to  

Breath in 

              Breath out 

On how to

                            Let go


When I float in the membrane question of who I am 

I go back to the face framed by 

the icing crust of the bathroom mirror

Her teeth a door left open 

The oak ocean of her skin 

Enough to wait in 

Eyes like uncertain moons 

peering behind clouds 

I pedaled into her for

Pieces of prophecy

Will I look like my mother,

              Will I look like my mother, 

                            Will I look like my mother ?

How could I ever be as beautiful 

And not know it 


I don’t know what 

daughter is suppose to be

I have left daughter slammed in the door 

of the house I grew up in 

I left daughter in the space between 

‘Where I stay’ and ‘Where I’m from’ 

There I am river curling around a Ohio wilderness 

I am a wave cringing from my own Lake Michigan shore 

I am a current flowing

Back to her body of water 

I stand braced against 

The four walls that surround her and I 

Don't know what to make

Of this house 

Where boxes go missing 

Where I have locked myself out 

And returned in shadows 


There she knows me 

Even when I avoid the mirror

Silhouette framed by the molding 

The cracks in her spine 

Fit the shape of my side

Maybe she’ll teach me 

How to carry 

Chelsea Williams is a poet, filmmaker, and visual artist born in Chicago, Illinois. She is lead by her passion for storytelling and connecting with people. When she is not writing poetry she is loves discussing Michael Jackson trivia, the beauty of herbal tea, the best vegan restaurants, Harry Potter, or early 2000’s pop punk. She is an intern at the Brooklyn based organization Cave Canem Foundation, that offers programing and support for black poets. Chelsea is in her senior year at New York University pursuing a BFA in Dramatic Writing and a minor in Africana Studies.