Never touch-starved again, forever a chub-bellied baby sexed big
Skin a heatmapped catalogue of hands still wet still grasping still blood-fat
Behind every steam-slammed door, playplush beds as good as checks
Whole home stitched with only these rooms, only this near-rip big
Kitchen table perfect island for the stranding, meals propped heaven-large
Backyard a honey-dripped grove named Eden, ripe land of no bills
Whatever drops first, spice-adorned, sauce slicked back-to-front
Splayed open slow, tempting a spill, grateful to be devoured like I’ll
Make my giggling groommates, spit-tethered hips churned tender flip
Down smeared-open mouths or whole wedding cakes or any drown we like
Just measure by the fistful how thick this slick can coat a sigh, add ten
And that’d be balm enough to dizzytrip my lonely and her cartwheels
Copyright © by Kemi Alabi. This poem originally appeared in Poetry, December 2020. Used with permission of the author.
THE POOL PLAYERS.
SEVEN AT THE GOLDEN SHOVEL.
We real cool. We
Left school. We
Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We
Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We
Jazz June. We
From The Bean Eaters by Gwendolyn Brooks, published by Harpers. © 1960 by Gwendolyn Brooks. Used with permission. All rights reserved.