Black girl as pastime by Simone Person

when you want to heat your hands wrist-deep
in my chest digging mine fistfuls of thigh and belly
while your spit dries on our mouths

mumble into my neck’s hollow how you
don’t want to be anywhere but here a trick
you’ve taught your tongue to perform

every time I try to leave
Black girl as sinkhole underneath
you as scorched earth acid rain dead

lakes sun-bleached fish bones
floating on the surface Black girl
as practice a worn path to find

your manhood bite my mango flesh
let the juice sizzle drip down your chin sticky
too sweet grit between your teeth

I softened butter-skin cotton
in your palms made excuses
to keep you to always fall

asleep to your breathing I built
altars to your gaze the brush
of your fingertips the slick

of your body on mine learned you
like ritual like holy day knelt before
someone who wasn’t there

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Contributor Notes

Simone Person grew up in Michigan and Ohio, and is a dual MFA/MA in Fiction and African American and African Diaspora Studies at Indiana University. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from WusGood Mag, Menacing Hedge, Puerto del Sol, among others, and has been anthologized in Crab Fat Magazine: Best of Year Three. She sporadically uses Twitter and Instagram at @princxporkchop.