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Brenda Joyce Patterson: Four Poems

Selected by Alexis Rhone Fancher, Poetry Editor

Summer

everything
looks like something else:
a caladium’s broad leaf
glazed with late afternoon rain
is a slice of watermelon ruddy
and black-seeded ripe

*

Courtship

it was the first thing I noticed
your hand a sun at the hollow
of my back and its weight
I wanted to lie down for you
skin my own dark sun gleaming
wanted to lie down across you
the air around us a spark
before kindling instead I led you
a merry chase made you work
the furnace of desire led myself
into a circling of want working
the foundry of our bodies
incandescent I wanted
to lie down under you
until we both went molten

*

Tell Me About the Body

after “Truce” by Kevin Young
I can scarcely look at mine. It wallows
in itself full of heat and liquid and hunger
all fingers and mouth grabbing tasting
eager for the next whatever it loves
mirrors and all the preening to be done
sees its skin as miraculous a burnishment
of light sees itself a complexity
of cones and parabolas one curve
leading to another declares itself holy

*

Helix

black girl now woman
I am first
building block
born from the sun
skin a melanin
masterpiece
I am first
and last delta
its curve following
shoulder to hip
the loam of Eden
from my hair coils
the engine driving
atom to protein
to our base acid
I am first
answer to the making
of humankind

 

Photo credit: Mish (Eileen Murphy)

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