Against Myself

she would part my hair in rhythms
using the pointed tips of grass
sharpened with her own teeth
making my scalp a canvas of walking patterns
with roped braids
standing only to be seen and glorified

carrying the deftness of the puppet master’s mystery
her fingers-
when they still gave form to her hands-
kept the promise to hold my ease

but then the braids would loose their ropes
my reason would follow the moon

covered in the heads of corn flowers
in the limbs of uprooted lemon grass
her eyes pushed closed from the weight of sunbeams
screamed we had been girls together
while I sung and swung amid the red hibiscus
hacking my friend whose belly was rounding itself with joy
whose fingers had not touched me at all

“Jesus! ”

she pleaded with the calm of the spirit-filled
for Jesus

by Octavia McBride Ahebee

Other poems of MCBRIDE AHEBEE (2)

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