Poems are useless

            after Amiri Baraka

unless they are pepper spray, stinging cries for change,

girls dancing fearless at night. I want poems

my mother couldn’t write in her book of recipes,

I want them like golden brown onions sizzling, and done

when they are fully translucent, free of color, wishes with

no commas and semicolons holding them back     every line

a hot skillet of female compromises melting, butter & scotch

I want a poem for the man whose idea of heaven is

an accidental brush with a woman’s side boob. I want it

to be the missing 21 cents for every $ in her salary slip.

Brown lines my sisters conceal in Loreal True Match

Secrets my aunts hide under telephone lines over TV soap

Each her and her a particle of raw dust birthing storms,

blinding stencil societal vision, dust that creates, cooks, cradles,

but never settles

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