we are decked head to toe
in our ancestor’s feathers,
striped with the arteries of
another insurrection,
bathed in the burst scabs of obstinate knuckles,
seasoned by the day,  
the sweat of far too many suns without

chasing for scalps,
curves like jello axes,
charcoal lips,
bright eyes,
hearts like meandering cannons.
chipped nails holding prayer, tongues,
the clipped wings of our grandmothers,
clawing at your porch,
oiling the glass
sneaking up your banister
teeth out
sliding under sheets,
i’ve got an apple for you to bite.
breath like gentle reminders from God
           now, now, learn to be amenable
feel the uneven pulse that vengeance wore,
pausing so you understand the difference in
revival and survived,
glint from the knife reveals an untamed eyelash:
unpainted and short and straight with might.
partially cloaked but baring light smiles,
wayward breasts you can’t touch,
wild right,
a heat between our thighs that you can’t hunt
and it’s close enough to

wearing the mask of
an unlectured howl,
a thorn plucked from our ribs,
a blood crusted march,
a cold new vendetta.
my sons,
are coming to get you.

“the matriarch”


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