Today's poem is by Cynthia Manick


: to bind the center of a peach pit heart
like a covered form; to smile tooth-wide
without looking too much alive; to cinch
a curved body like a rag; to avoid watermelon
and chicken; to seed thoughts of
bloodline fantasy—are you one part Indian
or two parts Creole?
; to wear coffee-colored
dresses and cotton headscarves only in the dark;
to unremember the village of old women
who lifted their skirts and birthed you;
to resist the hush of spirituals; to enunciate
the h and roll your r's; to avoid okra and
the black geodes of jazz; to fill the cracks with
dreams of southern porches and plums big
as a well; to pull out the tar-brushed womb;
to drink sweet tea in dainty cups, deliberate
as a geisha waiting to wear new bones again

Copyright © 2016 Cynthia Manick All rights reserved
from Blue Hallelujahs
Black Lawrence Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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