curling them around i hold their bodies in obscene embrace thinking of everything but kinship. collards and kale strain against each strange other away from my kissmaking hand and the iron bedpot. the pot is black. the cutting board is black, my hand, and just for a minute the greens roll black under the knife, and the kitchen twists dark on its spine and i taste in my natural appetite the bond of live things everywhere.
i need to know their names
those women i would have walked with
jauntily the way men go in groups
swinging their arms, and the ones
those sweating women whom i would have joined
after a hard game to chew the fat
what would we have called each other laughing
joking into our beer? where are my gangs,
my teams, my mislaid sisters?
all the women who could have known me,
where in the world are their names?