Poems from her Moon Cycles collection

Cave

Fingers swirling like water to a sinkhole Halima touches the swell,
Whirlpools darkening at her navel,
She waits

As her husband
Takes his fill,
Syruping her fever,
Roping her hair into necklaces, knuckled glass, chuckling, a phantom
pain packing insanity and laughter and windows clear enough to look through.        Pause that knock.

Ask if this is okay. If this is true.
If blood is red.
If fire can sear skin with no smoke.
She whispers a prayer into his pillow, sweating, swearing                                                    Her mother’s maiden name, losing to the cave he fills,                                            Overturning seasons like leaves spinning in the wind.                                                         Men, she sighs, have become more
Fickle than sycamore seeds.

 

Smile for Me

Your face,

my tracing paper.

Dot to dot,

moles to wrinkles.

This to that.

 

No Return Address

I read your letter this morning,

A flower blooming backwards,

Arching its spine to make a stem

So bold that bouquets stenched

This vase with traces of sewage.

 

In new apartments and get well soon cards.

I thought I’d see you soon enough,

Calender torn, fingers unchecked,

unheld, un-mine.

 

I could blow up time

For you to come home with flowers

But never in time

For you to come home at all.

 

#MeToo

Poison me to find your antidote,

Poison me to find the parts of yourself

That you broke inside of me

When you taught me to heal by hurting.

Silk words slung by an executioner,

A throat roped with pearls,

Glistening like wet pimple,

Sharper than the blade that cut it,

Sharper than the men who slit my lips.

Into a Barbie doll’s smile.

Sink your fingers into my spine,

Let the soil grow flowers around your wrists,

Take a spoonful of sugar,

Take a thread and wrap it

Around my throat

Tie a bow and send me to dance

The same dance my mother learned

From the uncles

Who paid visits at night when their wives

Slept downstairs in the kitchen,

The same kitchen

That drums between our thighs,

The same stove

That hums between our sighs,

How do you uncook meat,

How do you put seasoning back inside the bottle,

This is a lesson, this is the lesson

We did not ask to learn.

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