Stacie McCall Whitaker - Stone Coast, Maine

Departures

Written By: Jamal Michel

A tiny handful of a beard,
the soaked shoulder of an
undergraduate t-shirt,
pats and rubs
and the same smile.
The same smile on each
and every one out there,
and if they could they would
melt themselves into the
tarmac and pray the weight
of the full cabin felt heavier
than their breasts pressed
together that one last time.

About the Author

Jamal Michel / Stonecoast Review / Issue 7 / Summer 2017 / Poetry / Departures

My name is Jamal Michel and I currently teach English Literature at Northern High School in Durham, North Carolina. My mother and father were born in Guyana and Haiti, respectively, and I have been using creative writing and social commentary to address topics as a writer of color who also identifies as Muslim. I received my BA in English Literature at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. During that time, I received a fellowship as a writing adviser and was part of the English Honors Society on campus. I also completed a creative writing workshop summer intensive at New York University in 2013 and Kenyon Review’s 2017 workshop.

I went on to receive my Master’s in Teaching English Literature at the secondary school level from Duke University. My poetry and prose focus primarily on race and identity, surrealism, and absurdity. One of my main focuses revolves around using writing and the arts as a form of social activism, and also speaking on being Black in 21st century America. I have an Instagram page for poetry and have intentions of pursing an MFA in creative writing. My political writing has been published in the Miami Herald and The News & Observer, and I currently serve as Duke University’s guest columnist for The Chronicle. My creative writing has been published in The Rectangle, Forge Journal, and Yes, Poetry, and is forthcoming in 805 Lit + Art, Mortar Magazine, Linden Avenue Literary Journal, Up the Staircase Quarterly, and Lunch Ticket.

Instagram: @_prospere