COAST FUNERAL by Abe Louise Young

Coast Funeral

CEO has the confidence of a dictator.
Egg yolk and chicken feathers and straight
pins in his hermeneutic mouth.
Make the day new, take your vitamins, don’t look, he says.
Crickets empty their breath into our lungs.
Gravel collects the sound of the shoreline.
Oysters pool in our palms like blood clots.
We are closets of apology
still driving our stolen black crude.
Water, may we embalm your singing?



Mitakuye oyasin: we are writing for all our relations, our ancestors, animal brothers and sisters, Grandparents, wolves, insects, fish, food plants, trees, land and ocean mammals, reptiles, and winged ones. We move to discover the heart of our interdependence, to protect what we love, so that we may cease to attack our mother planet, source of life. For the dead and the unborn, all of our teachers, friends and loved ones, those we have not yet met, and those whose names we have forgotten: now we remember. We bow in gratitude, so our minds are one. May all beings be free.


Abe Louise Young is a poet, activist, and teacher from the Gulf Coast. Her creative and critical work can be found in The Nation, New Letters, Bloom, the Massachusetts Review, and venues online. She travels the country leading workshops focused on writing for social transformation, and is the founder Alive in Truth: The New Orleans Disaster Oral History Project. She’s the author of one chapbook, Ammonite, and editor of numerous anthologies. Visit to learn more.

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