An Opalescent Amalgamation

Oh jubilant house!
Stabilized cerulean sea and its shore.
The sight of it makes me sing!
The temple listens and harmonizes with me.
Its seaglass tones are so serene!
A beauty formed from battering.
All ancestral is amalgamation!
A conglomeration of seashells and concrete.
Oh opalescent abalone!
Luminescence cleanses my calloused soles.
Skies and oceans fuse!
Here all fractured heavens reunite.
House of honeyed air!
I prostrate myself on penny paved steps.
Cobbled collection from cruel shores!
Your translucent roof only permits in truth.

After Ancestral Praise House (1996) by Dominique Moody

“An Opalescent Amalgamation” is inspired by “Ancestral Praise House,” a mixed-media sculpture created by Dominique Moody in 1996. Materials include cowrie shells, fragments of stained glass from firebombed Black churches, and found objects. Images are available online through Hyperallergic and Medium articles. Sierra Jelks graduated from Oberlin College in 2021 with a major in Art History and a minor in Creative Writing. During her time at Oberlin, she served as a teaching assistant and research assistant for Assistant Professor of Creative Writing Chanda Feldman, whose poetry was featured last week in the Review. In 2020, Jelks received the Battrick Fellowship Prize for her poetry, and in 2021 at the College Art Association, she presented a poster titled “Black Ekphrasis as Art History” about the relationship between poetry, visual art, and Black history.