Taste of Hibiscus / Soyini Ayanna Forde

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dancing girl press, 2013

 Soyini Ayanna Forde was raised in Trinidad and Tobago. She enjoys hot cups of tea, pop culture, select branches of feminist theory, and various facets of West Indianness. She has work in Racialicious, the Guidebook, tongues of the ocean, Black Renaissance Noire, and the Caribbean Writer. She is a graduate of Barry University and the Stonecoast MFA program.

A Hole in the Sack of Desire

You say you cannot kiss
the crooked staircase
of my back
and not feel sad.
How it clacks something awful—
like dry spaghetti
when I arch
how it bows like the bones
don’t want to hold
up my skin anymore.

My eggshell back
my carrier of malady
blessed betrayal of symmetry
my knapsack of love.

Pick your face up, lover
from the wet cave of my stomach
soft as ripe pommerac meat,
feel how I am cleaved
at the curve.
Mapping desire
up and down the gnarled column
of my back
over your longitude of vein,
how you raise and read the braille
of my pores.
Some seepage
is a dirty stain, some you curl
towards your lips,
suck softly at
in remembrance.