mick powell


facebook says the boy who raped me has been my friend for 4 years


& facebook wants to celebrate that      :           & facebook wants to show me


the night of—


my bodycon & pink-lip & proof


that my mouth

wasn’t full

of fists /           that my body

wasn’t gorged

by rough hands /       that i turned

myself a colony,

a thing bound by water


& the morning after—


my top-knot & sweatshirt & toilet bowl


a little blood / a tiny ache / a small burn


at breakfast, photographed

him beside me, smiling –


“you’ve shared all of this together”

facebook says


& facebook wants to celebrate that       :           & facebook wants to show me


its collection of remembered things / horrors / a book of events where i threw up before attending them / horrors / how my teeth became rock salt / my bed a list of landmines / i don’t touch / comfortably / for four years / & four years / of horrors / of pretending / i could leave my bedroom / without burning / without smoking / weed / with my mouth / full of fists / my body gorged / my hands rough now / then / how they held things / horrors / that could break / too tightly / how they broke / the glass / how it shattered / came cannibal against itself / a little blood / a big room / & him / & horror / & me / & no / & no / at breakfast / beside me / & me / a colony / a thing / bound by water / & this



a list of events where you appear in ghost


my birth day

is a room

with your body


i am born


with rosehips


i am born

in the spring

in the room


with your body

the walls

are pale


the trim, azure

the women

have gold crowns


on their teeth

it is spring

in the face


i’ve got your mouth

and nothing



in the face

you are the fist

and the first
to apologize



on telling my mother, or the summer my body wasn’t a burning thing


i touched myself

so deeply, i think

the water that came

came as chamomile


            fídju, you know how a violent love will eat

the room of a memory

as ripe or supple bruise;

the rotted skin of a mouth

as garden or planet


so i boiled lemon leaves

with rose petals, let

the room become full

of everything softening


fídju, you know how a violent love will turn

            your chest a word that burns your throat

                        a thick of salt, a lard of vowel;

            your tongue a sequined scab

                        a sheet of ash, a rind of poison


so i laid beside a girl

whose name, i think,

meant nothing

except tender song


fídju, you know how a violent love will make

            your body incoherent machine

                        your body     incoherent machine

            your body incoherent     machine

                        your body in    coherent machine


so i prayed my body

a soft sanctuary, a

summer without fire,

a gentle birth


but oh, fídju, you know how a violent love will burn

yes, you know how violent a love will hunger



a letter to your mouth as a broken machine

that summer


i am waisted slim by cigarettes

steaming from my sugarplum mouth;


you are fist against flower garden,

all hungry and taking and taking;


i am a canary yellow sundress of a girl

i shred on my twenty-third birthday


when i am so alone and rough

that i might wring the water out of someone


i love because horoscope.

you are kinda fucked up


in that way, how you’re all plunder,

all thirsty and taking and taking;


i am kinda fucked up in that way,

how i promise there are no surprises:


i am coming how i come

with poem and apology and big breasts


with cocoa butter and eucalyptus tea,

with the same nervous question:


what if i don’t want to disappear?

what if i don’t want to disappear


into the summer without thunderstorm

or into the imaginary sound of it


raging in your backseat as a girl

funneling her lightning into you,


burning as we both become celestial

and sorry for only having our bodies


mick powell (she/her) is a queer black fat femme feminist survivor poet who likes revolutionary acts of resistance. She is currently an MFA in Poetry candidate at Southern Connecticut State University. Mick obtained a B.A. in Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies and Africana Studies from the University of Connecticut. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in The Feminist Wire, Black Girl Dangerous, the Long River Review, Winter Tangerine, and The Fem. She is one of the Associate Editors of the Emerging Feminisms section at The Feminist Wire. You can almost always find her in all-black, like Beret Girl from An Extremely Goofy Movie, who is her poetic aesthetic inspiration.


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