after Ariana Brown
you were once an infant. grown out of another’s death. sister of a bloody invisible. you talk to God about someone dead. like Himself. a child of angry. sores. you peel your scabs. like a shy fruit. strawberry legs. mama makes you sit on towels to watch tv. everyone knows the oozes love your couch. you find a lick of jam under your clothes for the first time. call yourself sweet. soiled cotton child. you find the river of wine. turn it a fruit juice. you could make the devil white. with bleach. the leather armchair messes with you. remembers your color. the passenger’s seat can kiss you. admits your smell a day later. you a bottle of food coloring. your body tints the eggshell. a vulva of Easter. the dogs move their noses toward you. find a corpse in your jeans. you shed the immortal. cleaning blood can omit time. you scrub your heritage. like two thighs wrestling each other. do the pads honor their elders? preserve the red your mother left you. this incredible archive of stains. child of maroon duty. you make bleeding a hobby. the bathroom walls in all their glory. you grew twice the size of them: an inconceivable blister.
—By Kara Jackson