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.
From An Ordinary Woman by Lucille Clifton published by Random House. Copyright © 1974 Lucille Clifton. Used with permission.
Lucille Clifton, the author of Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988–2000 (BOA Editions, 2000), which won the National Book Award, was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 1999.
Date Published: 1974-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/cutting-greens