I carried a clit, in case.
in case it wasn’t rape.
in case the kiss was your lovely. in case, you suck a sore
bruise, too. in case you were steady. your hand was steady.
in case you could talk. I carried a clit, and a wrist in case—
in case I could rub away seam, and you could rinse hem, and we could
stand upright in tubs, muddy like a ledge. in case you could
hear. me, in case I could pick up both feet
on command, and carry through beds, and
keep my hair out of houses, in
and out of houses. in case the rooms full of
leaves and nightstands where
the drink is sweet. and a schoolyard out the
window, and in case the flagpoles
were empty. in case I could hear
sheets flap, like
a punch in the thigh.
One punches thigh open, another
writes script. pens
white gown and white banner and white sheet and white
cover and dove. and white birch. and parchment. and white
cinder and slab brick. white ash of punched cunt, white follicles
and we were not winter. all dark and thick and full of mouth.
We were not wonder. all dark and thick. our mouths
got us kicked. you ask a princ-
ipal, a counselor, the man in the room. our mouths
got us running, soup water from se-
wers, and gentler weather keeps chicks. our mouths
got us full to black rim. to red blather, to-
ward trouble, a generous flight of stairs. our mouths
got us hissed ridiculous. you ask a sham-
an, his snake of women, his clavicle stick. our mouths
got us our bitter ass whipped, pick our own-
ers, our switches, our licks, our shut up. our shut up. our shut up.
Copyright © 2016 francine j. harris
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.