i don’t blame

the wide hipped


for eating their men

i don’t blame

them for frying them

flour and lard

salt pepper paprika in

black skillets

grease popping sizzling

with the rhythms they miss

i don’t blame them for making

meals of the men

who’ve gone missing

the lost ones dry humping

a beer bottle’s bottom

the wayward ones

caught in the fishnets of a


the dead ones

cradled in a casket’s palm

i don’t blame the

wide hipped women

for serving their men on sundays

in southern fried pies

cuz everybody gotta eat somehow,


The Declassified Files of the Sorority of
Chemically Straightened Heads
The following is to be read carefully, then burned by curling iron.

By the time you are seven
you will believe 
that you are ugly because
your hair is bad.

This begins the initiation; 
you will know. 

Soon after, you will be
stolen from a random
carted to a nearby salon. 
And there will be
mirrors, stools, and tools
scissors with curls still
irons peeking from
stoves, mud colored gels,
creams, toothless combs,
sprays, helmets of heat,
bubble-filled basins,
plastic rods, greasy clips 
and brushes with more hairon
them than heads

The foul smelling cream is
You will fear it, 
bow to its’ magic and lye
become enslaved to its
to press your strands into
make stubborn spirals flat
after minutes of menacing.
Surrounding you are the grim lipped
the women who share the blister sick
that the more sizzle, pop, and pain
the longer lasting the style

Black hair is Ritual.
Sorority. A hazing that hurts. 
An induction into a
where follicles are 
pressure cooked
to maintain the status quo.

Perhaps we should
blame the women
who raised us.
The lipsticked sadists who
our self-esteem in corsets;
our worth with brow pencil; 
teach us we are
only our hair.

Sirius Black Speaks About His Time In Azkaban Prison
(a sestina)

prison has a way of turning time
inward. it’s an irreversible magic
eating away the edges
of a sane man’s will.
there’s no warming a cold that crawls
inside linen. lingers as if invited.

sometimes I’d succumb to dysfunction. invite
it to imaginary tea. ask if it’d wear tomorrow’s time.
but my sentence was stubborn. a crawling
creepy thing capable of unraveling the magic
of a phoenix feather. will
sorcery to a suicidal edge.

Azkaban stands on the crooked edge
of silence. the predator invited
to a festival of prey. a cinder block’s last will
& testament. a clock bewitched to ignore the time.
my innocence was my last bit of magic.
a reminder I still had courage enough to crawl.

escape begins with crawling.
unsteady steps edging
from impossible to maybe then magic.
beware the man with nothing to lose; he invites
madness to dinner to pass the time.
I was that man. holding my wits in my hands, hoping a will

to live hadn’t abandoned me. prison will
melt away memory. hold the heart hostage. watch seconds crawl
by. There were times
when my smile would toe the edge
of a Dementor’s kiss. when laughter would invite
itself inside the core of magic

memories are warm elixirs. a magic
the cloaks and cold could never will
away. when I was falling face first into darkness, I invited
Moody’s wisdom in for a chat. His pragmatism crawled
through my misery, pushed doubt from the edge.
Prongs appeared when I needed to invoke a joke a time

or two. We were mischief managed, invited friendship and magic
a map of footprints, time, and will. 
I am the crawl, the memory, and the edge.

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