A Woman Speaks



Moon marked and touched by sun  
my magic is unwritten
but when the sea turns back
it will leave my shape behind.  
I seek no favor
untouched by blood
unrelenting as the curse of love  
permanent as my errors
or my pride
I do not mix
love with pity
nor hate with scorn
and if you would know me
look into the entrails of Uranus  
where the restless oceans pound.

I do not dwell
within my birth nor my divinities  
who am ageless and half-grown  
and still seeking
my sisters
witches in Dahomey
wear me inside their coiled cloths  
as our mother did

I have been woman
for a long time
beware my smile
I am treacherous with old magic  
and the noon’s new fury
with all your wide futures  
I am
and not white.


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