Today I have grief for breakfast— reach my tongue
out of my mouth & lick
my own tears. I’m keeping the whole of me.
I call up a friend and we talk about black
woman paradise— somewhere between starshine
We lay there undead rest in the peace of knowing
nothing here wants us unalive. Today I want to play Thee Stallion
but play Nina instead miss Simone hums something about hanging
fruit bodies. She harvests me kisses the noose burns off my neck.
Today I get my acrylics real long: stiletto neon green— strut
out of the nail salon grinning at admirers yeah I’m alive
& blooming. I fashion my mouth
to shoot arrows:
No— you can’t have my body no— I’ll die on my own terms.
I still ain’t learned to swim but I’m bikini clad sipping
on something fruity
& sweet getting all parts of me wet. I take two
lovers to bed— the three of us tangled into a black
church. We worship our god loud & unashamed she’s a living
god we are living we are alive with mouths agape in want.
Today I am a black woman venerated being loved out loud
& I’m loving black women back to life.
Loving black women back
to life today I’m loud in my veneration.
I am a black woman in want
mouth agape yelling we are alive we are living god!
We are alive
& unashamed worship a tangled worship.
We bloom into a green thing a church of three & all parts
of us are wet yeah, we’re alive & grinning
our mouths into arrow-words:
Yes— you can have our bodies no— we’ll die on our own terms.
Today I’m all neck— a hanging fruit body
reaching for miss Simone & Thee Stallion
is there too rapping something about being sweet
like suga & we’re all undead. We’re three & naked covered in starshine
we are black we are black women we are black women in black woman
paradise alive & whole. Today we are whole
reach our tongues out of our mouths lick our own tears.
Honora Ankong is a queer Cameroonian-American poet. She is currently a Virginia Tech MFA in poetry candidate. Her works exist in and explore the liminal space where her identities intersect. She is constantly complicating and reimaging the confines of the African Diaspora. She has work forthcoming in the Peregrine Journal, Lolwe, Glass, The Swamp, and Mineral lit.