When ancestral you pinned my great, great, great
black grandmother to the ground,
stormed her vagina,
you laughed.
Drank her tears like sherry.
Got some strange.
Picked a part of her
from a part of her.
Her dreams turned
umber. Condensed to heavy
clouds. Darkness tentacled
her darkness. She spoke
rain for the rest
of her life. We
grew up, half-
white, half rind,
fluent in water,
conjugating transparency,
fluent in land,
conjugating hardness,
fluent in the taste of tears,
understanding intimate as sweat,
the process of losing,
how quickly dignity sinks like rain
in a dense truth that is
this earth. What flows, what is static,
anchors skin in tension, in
what is
necessary for the lord of the world
to pluck peaches & sleep
sweetly: a myth that lifts him,
swells around him,
an ocean of constructs
strong as the Atlantic.
We drown in this ocean of omission.
Ripe bodies.
Stripped of rags.
Naked rafts.
Barely holding it together.
Driftwood gospels.
Sinking footnotes
in the myth that lifts
from peach to bruised peach.





Rose Maria Woodson is the author of two chapbooks, Skin Gin (2018 QuillsEdge winner) and An Ombre Of Absence (Dancing Girl Press), as well as the mini-chapbook, Dear Alfredo (Pen and Anvil). She has been published in Revolute, Litro, Glint, Cider Press Review, Crack The Spine, and elsewhere. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Northwestern University.

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