And the Women Said

“And the Women Said” by Kelly Grace Thomas | Rattle: Poetry
http://www.rattle.com/wp-content/themes/reddle/js/html5.js

Kelly Grace Thomas

AND THE WOMEN SAID

And the women said watch as men call us lottery tickets
watch as they cash register us into gamble into played
out combinations of sweaty bills and pocket want
watch as they lick their lips for that better life
watch as they pout, when we don’t pay out.
When the bling of our breasts don’t make them
Cheshire cat the same. When we got our own debts
that gotta be paid, to mirrors, to mammas, to the way our hearts
traffic light in the closet after we sold ourselves
whole.
And the women said feel the way we became campfire
how we ghost storied into this dangerous beauty.
How them men can’t scrub out our smoke, how our blue learned
to burn slow, standstill like the moment between beggin and maybe.
Feel the way we soil into shovel, how we let ourselves be held even
after a matchbox tongue misspoke of our flames, even after we told flint,
you don’t live here no more. The women said feel how we are not open
fields waiting for their strike. They cannot not bury us
deep, call us things of war and be surprised
when we land mine.

from Rattle #51, Spring 2016
Tribute to Feminist Poets
2017 Neil Postman Award Winner

IMG_7631-001

Ligatures

ligaturescov
If words are our best weapon, then Denise Miller’s Ligatures is a full frontal assault on the nation’s apathy. You cannot read this elegiac chronicle of the indifferent, haphazard yet legal murder of black people without knowing in the veins of your conscience that we are all bloodstained. Miller cites and channels: victim and cop, reporter and spectator, medical examiner and mother. And because she is a great soldier of words, we follow Denise Miller straight into battle. We feel “born brown then broken, born brown then bent—born brown then esophagus-threaded through handcuff born brown then bracketed by [hashtag & period].” We see what we have tried so hard not to see—“those people”—the “black and brown bodies that have been named from auction blocks to blogs” who are not us . . . except they are. Ligatures binds us viscerally in an unconscionable, incongruous place where we cannot “scroll past as if this story isn’t ours.” So read it.   – Leeanne Seaver

Ligatures