By Kwame Dawes
rigid of my jaw bone
power forged in the oven
every blow I have felt.
water walk is something like
compensation for a limp.
Don't begrudge me my sashay
walk, it's all I got sometimes.
'Cause I know the way you stare,
blue eyes like a machete edge
catching the colour of new sky,
way you barely whisper
orders, spit out the food,
complain about my shuffling gait,
snorting out my funky smell,
fault in each task I do,
never right, never good enough,
curse my children like dogs,
cause I know you just hurting
drooling your bitterness
my back is turned,
the shape of my black ass
swings that way you hate,
sashaying through this room of
know you're wondering what I've got
there, in my belly, in my thighs,
him leave your side,
crawl out of his pale sick skin
howl like a beast at night,
whimper like a motherless babe
suckling on me, suckling on me
can't hide the shame you feel
know I sometimes turn him back.
know you know it, from the way,
comes on you hard and hurried,
searching for a hole to weep his
I turn him back when I want,
he still comes back for more.
I've got my pride sometimes.
know the way you try to read me
to be me, can't be me,
never be me, never feel the black
me, never know the blues in me,
'cause you never want to see you
me even though we bleed together,
finding each other's tidal rhythms
bloat together like sisters,
hoarding the waters of the moon
sashay through your life,
averting the blades with my leather
abuse you, and when he bawls,
is my pride at work,
I've got sometimes.
cook your meals
until he keels over,
you just have to take it
'cause I took it with no fuss
he forced his nothing self on me,
while my babies sucked their thumbs
within the sound of my whimpering;
just reaping what y'all done sowed
Sometime I could sit down
I think I could remember—
than I can do now.
may say something today,
see something today
somebody may say something,
it goes out.
posted 14 September 2006