Here’s a fucking poem about flowers after Dad suggests I stop writing poems that might make people want to kill me
but who’s going to tell him this isn’t a fucking poem about flowers, this is my voice peltate to poem, voice clanged to poem, voice veined in the bare back of noon where a chink of sunlight’s fist scoops up black ants sleeping on tamarind trees; voice slit open, dried in the sun, smoked in the far ends of second kitchens, torn to condiment; voice leaking into the silver gash of sardines stewing in claypots; voice rolled and smoothed and rolled again to ball of ricethoranfishcurry in a grandmother’s feeding hand; voice unscrewing itself in the stomachs of little ones who hate the kink, the surly, the wild of their hair, of my hair, of the women before me who by day thatched their hair to belonging, who by night unraveled to longing a body untended as a coin in a well, body keeled to found-boat, body sprawled to altar, body bent to summer air thick on the flank of paddy fields; their silver tongues pitting the night moonless, breathing into its gash, quicker and quicker, until they felt the brackish brow of sea break against the soft flesh of their cheek like spats of oyster; and they licked their lips, and retrieved into the cool earthen finger of man, their carnivore coiled in the basin of my woman, hissing here here here
November / December 2022
Letitia Jiju is an Indian poet who has a penchant for imagist poems retelling the divine & the mythological. Her poems have appeared/are forthcoming in ANMLY, The Lumiere Review, Black Bough Poetry, Moist Poetry Journal, Acropolis Journal and elsewhere. She reads poetry for Psaltery & Lyre. You can find her on Instagram/Twitter @eaturlettuce.
Art: Jaguar Diving. Oil on canvas. T. Aguilera.