• Call + Response

Ancestors I by Tori Ashley Matos

A poem on remembrance, featured in Call + Response Journal Volume I

Photograph by Lucas Mendes

ancestors I


this skin stretches over fertile flesh

each pore

a potted plant

a mossy green bed


brown miles of possibility.

40 acres bred into my derma.


i work this land

i work it to the completion

of the hope that

kept my grand and grand and grand and mothers


awake at night

while the ache in their joints kept them

from the privilege of dreams.





Tori Ashley Matos is a native New Yorker, writer, actor, and artist now based in the West

Village. They are genderfluid, Afro-Indigenous, queer as all get out, and mad as hell. Their work focuses on the practice of compassionate but radical decolonization of ourselves and our societies. They graduated in May 2019 from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre and they have been published in Newtown Literary Journal and Name and None Magazine.

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