A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

Jamila Woods

"“Frida Kahlo to Diego,” or “the ways my body feels empty sometimes”"

sack of pearls
bones rolling about
i am a marble maze
i rattle

my skin is the raw pink of a de-veined shrimp on a skewer
a steel spear to my uterus
i cooked
in a hospital bed for an eternity until i grew tough
tough enough to watch my limbs go bad without flinching

log leg
sever me timbers
what do i need them for?"

i am anything but soft around the edges
i am no fleshy maiden with femurs like cat whiskers and holes
stretching open easy like balloons at the first push of a lip

is an apple pus*y
as a wormhole
mealy meat and
no seeds
god dammit

never any seeds

has a mountain belly
hot cigar breath makes a canvas of my neck
a foggy window Haaah
and then a dragging of his fingers through his own mist

i am a wet car
all metal with rusty skin beneath this iron girdle
holding what's left of my organs in
a spear to my uterus

tell me this:
do the parts of me living feel him more intensely on behalf of the parts of me buried?
do my fallen limbs lie trembling like freshly shed lizards' tails
leaving this rotted wood carcass to feel everything in shallow reverberations. . .

he can never plant seeds.

we will never grow trees.

sever me timbers.


i am a vased flower tricking bees
smell sweet, no pollen treats

he keeps coming back
smelling of other lilies
nose dusted with yellow soot
not mine,
but still coming
flushing me purple
crushing me into a feathered mattress
an avalanche to my chest
a burying and redigging up
a lolling in my pulp

after love,
he shakes me
to see if I still live and
we listen for the rattle

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

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