I am my own foundation.

—Franz Fanon

Dark throat, you made something happen:

Gully, maybe. Gullah
praise be

Mantilla maiden
down on her knees

Iron her skirts     Wash her vagina
Get thee behind her and zip up her back—

Me dijeron que me llamaban desde el pozo
Voces nocturnas pajariles

Cocodrilos granadinos
rococo y sensibles—

Odio lo que ardo
Harta en my sweater.
Odio lo que amo
Tecato en stilletto

Mwen ka mantje ou, doudou
Mwek ka mantje ou, tche mwen—

Llamo en staccato—
La pli ka vini

Sutil e imbecil—
La pli ka tonbe

Vini gade fidji nwaj-la
Mwen ka mantje ou, ti moun

Annou pa gade deye—
Ya nada fui asi

Labios ladrando—

Legacy light handled—

I've broken my teeth
against this language of yours.

My tongue
at night

in a
fricative wind.


From Letters to the Future: Black Women, Radical Writing (Kore Press, 2017). Copyright © 2017 R. Erica Doyle. Used by permission of the author.