Monologues in Bars By White People With Good Intentions
I love your hair You always wear such interesting things What did you do before this Wow are you from Detroit What was that like Tell me what your thesis is about That sounds really powerful Your poem tonight was really intense You’ll appreciate this, you know, since you’re kind of ghetto You worked so hard you made it So what did you think about that Junot essay I’m suspicious of poems with an agenda, that have a certain aboutness Explain what you mean when you say risk I’m really uncomfortable I went to Detroit, well Dearborn, and it’s amazing how cheap the houses are No, it’s a really cool town Are you a Tigers fan That city is having a hard time, for sure I lived there once when I worked for Teach for America How do you feel about people who claim Detroit but aren’t really from there I really love your hair Is your work always so intense That line is a little melodramatic I’m not as smart as you but I thought rape was about sex What do you mean it’s hard to date I mean you’re here Rap is about music let’s not make it about race Oh come on, I only call people I love my nigger I don’t mean this to sound racist but You don’t seem like you date white guys but I love how our skin looks when I hold your hand and I like women who live a natural lifestyle and You’re so well spoken Wow you’ve really read a lot Ithaca must be way different than what you’re used to You can breathe now, you made it
I Got Mad Love
There are no Drew Barrymore’s in my film
adaptation. Lovers watch me spin into
snow lines of static, leave with the front
door open. I won’t cut out the eyes
of magazine girls, paste them to my wall.
Instead, watch Youtube videos on how to
crown my locs electric then bruise men
without permission. I masturbate before
dressing for work, beat my face for the gods,
keep purple eyeliner in the clutch. Sit in traffic,
punch a clock then smile like I own a thing or two.
When I bleed, I drink beet juice and pray for
a reason to clap back. Laugh loudly: joy.
Pay a bill on time. Pretend memory is not a
hangover. Find a cure. Viola Davis my way
through a room with no wig. Call you bigot
to your face. Keep my hunger for pushing
my fingers against the wall of a lover’s writhing.
I’m feeling myself on the dance floor,
in the bedroom of my witching hour. Light
the mother’s candle, hope I don’t salt to ground.
I hope. Eat collards out the pot, drink its liquor.
Let lover’s welt my body for tomorrow’s blue
pleasure. Don’t look for Chris O’Donnell to save
me, he was a shitty Robin anyway. It’s not
the 90s anymore. Except for this dark matte,
the way I rip my jeans. Some days
when I am brave, I walk to the train without
headphones. I wish a bitch would tell me to smile,
the arrow of my brow cutting their spleen out.
On my best days, I take my sheer black bra off
before the deadbolt slides shut. Pour myself a glass
of red wine, let it stain my tits. Roast a chicken
and suck the salt off every finger. Live.
Consent Is A Labyrinth of Yes
1. To the boys on the playground who played grab and run.
2. To the friend’s father who stands dark in the doorway, asks her
to stay, television glow casting shadows across his face.
3. A grandfather whose hands find the youngest of the stock.
4. Grabbed her breast at the kitchen table
5. A grandmother removing him from the scene by his collar.
Beats him with his cane.
6. The family almost talks about it.
7. The women kneel for prayer. Protect mine, Lord, for they do not
know what is not their fault: to have an organ that takes
and spits back out.
8. To the only lover who told her no after too much gin.
9. To the og who preferred her that way. Adds woman to
the first time she takes when she wants to.
10. She never wants to have children this way but does.
11. History is a dangerous legacy.
12. Learning he says.
13. A woman digs up her name from her throat. The water
from it washes out the mouths of what came before.
14. A grandmother is triggered back to her body blued, locked
in a room. A mother remembers the double barrel echoing
15. Nothing stands still. Darkness and light. Her salt body, dark
and shimmer. Its perfect doing. Her unafraid.
Aricka Foreman’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Drunken Boat, Vinyl Poetry, Minnesota Review, Thrush, Day One, RHINO, pluck! and Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poems for the Next Generation by Viking Penguin, among others. She is the Enumerate editor for The Offing. Her chapbook Dream With A Glass Chamber is forthcoming from YesYes Books in 2015. Selected by Oliver de la Paz.
Image © l.blasco via Flickr Creative Commons.