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.
Lucille Clifton - 1936-2010
to my last period
well, girl, goodbye, after thirty-eight years. thirty-eight years and you never arrived splendid in your red dress without trouble for me somewhere, somehow. now it is done, and i feel just like the grandmothers who, after the hussy has gone, sit holding her photograph and sighing, wasn’t she beautiful? wasn’t she beautiful?