cartography of a liberated body
on a muggy morning
the clouds hang low,
they shift between the rows
of hyacinth planted long ago.
Humidity fans out
my hair, blended with the dirt,
in danger of rot
and my body settles in
to feed her babe —exposed breast
and nipple to the suckling earth.
with a haze coming ‘round
the long hand of the clock
my thighs ripple in wait,
for the storm that my mother’s knees
always saw coming.
flung out are my legs among the weeds,
separated from the top of me;
lunging for the west, toes pointed north. and yet
my mouth, a bulb,
teeth and all,
into blackened soil.
is the hardest after you’ve borne witness
to suffering—you turn away,
helpless, a foot on your throat
Bar Graph Analysis of Carefree Black Girls
protect amandla at all costs & stop defending raven-symone even though
she low-key still your fave. read up on Bernie & Hillary
& act like the GOP money don’t matter & follow jessica williams
on twitter & learn all the words to feeling myself.
be content with viola davis as the first black woman to win an emmy.
do all these things to celebrate being a carefree black girl
until tomorrow, when deray updates &
there’s another hashtag. a black man
shot & a trans woman beat to death,
black girl dragged by cops & blamed
in exactly the places you expect &
in places supposed to be safe,
like California or some liberal
college town where diversity is
welcomed but not really &
where we feel safe but
we not really &
try not to be
Renee Christopher writes poetry to banish demons and uphold the glory of authenticity. She’s pursuing an MFA at Iowa State an her work can be found at Words Dance. Follow her @reneesunok.