The prospect of:
overwhelming & otherwise/
predetermined/ by nature/ it is frightening/
to consider death as an opportunity/
to be honored/ in the end/
it is under every hidden meaning/
modified by the regret of mortality/
those of us left behind/ lament/
how the aurora still rises/
how the men still make love/
how the women still gather to scream/
is always thick
like bricks carried or bags of steaks the backs of women dumped in
it is always stale & hard to breathe in
afterwards what is what could be
stutters in strange places
how many of me has he buried in these pillows?
#hallelulujah to the hoodwitches.
to the shellac clap backs
& neck roll snaps of sistahs
who snatch tracks & dodge ditches.
#blessedbe to they too small kitchens.
#blessedbe they dolla tree gumbo.
#blessedbe they cokes & hot cheetos.
may the gawds smile down
& rain money on some of us
bxtches. #imdifferent descended
from the truth-eaters, i swallowed sarah
saartje baartman. she buried herself
in the slip of my hips & now she lives
in all the mirrors of my apartment.
Full of stones & onyx knuckles, I am the tide that came for you.
I am the wave—not a wound, not an oven, not a mother
now but—I am the one who made you. Think of the other
ways that I have lived—softly, salted & quick. This is the true
root of you, the skin of it. With my fingers around your throat, you grew.
In the chop & crash—in the rumble—you grew & now I will live forever.
The root of my paper machete kisses & my origami lovers?
Your mother’s mother. Child, I came through her—too quickly— like you.
Faylita Hicks is a Black, Queer writer, mobile photographer, performance and Hip-Hop artist from San Marcos, TX. She was 2009 Grand Slam Champion of the Austin Poetry Slam. Her manuscript was a finalist in the 2016 Write Bloody Book contest and 2012 Button Poetry Chapbook contest. In 2015, she released her first Hip Hop EP, Collision City. In 2018, she was an inaugural Open Mouth Readings Writing Retreat participant. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, The Rumpus, Glass Poetry Press, Kweli Journal, Five:2:One, Cosmonauts Avenue Ink & Nebula, American Poetry Journal, Yes Poetry and others. She is the founder and Creative Director of Arrondi Creative Productions and an artist on the roster for Hip-Hop collective Grid Squid Entertainment. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Sierra Nevada College’s Low Residency program and received her Bachelor’s Degree from Texas State University in San Marcos, TX.