to 5

    on the 5ives




delicate cutting

one hand covers your face
in the photograph the glare from the window
captured beside you dissolves the solid lines of your grin
and so you are not cheek or forehead, not eyebrow
or lips, but pictures do this
for us, catching the unspeakable often
I cannot tell you but with words
how we navigate the unbearable

in the photograph
the women's faces have been covered
and their sexes exposed     I wonder how we
will recognize one another? I can make out
the youngest among them, the curve
of her hip, the thinness of her lips
her body poised before womanhood
like a trapeze artist who begins to waver
then freezes

it takes a delicate cutting
to get enough of your face out
to cover hers     I've rearranged the terror
for you because I know what you own
owns you and so you too must be legs splayed
pale as the moon, rudely exposed knees cocked
to one side and feet covered in dust     the womb
if it could borrow your grin would
and say there are some moments that are poetry
before you get to them


fresh produce

mangos are impossible, he says
biting scraps of fruit from the bone

the second one is hot with its own
ripeness as he holds it out the window

to cool before dropping it in my lap
I watch it hang precariously

out there against the night sky my face
hidden in the shadows cast by the headlights

and burning with confusion I notice the fresh bruises

from his fingers deepening into a dark vermilion
on its skin my thumb turns in circles

around its core, I was thinking about its flower
days and how it felt to hang so heavy

finally from the tree
I lift it to my mouth

eating my destiny as he moves
to place his weight inside of me