Bonita Lee Penn
Editors' Pick

When Lightening Rides Thunder Bareback

is all that is seen /  piano keys dance  / click and clack  /  kick, slides cross empty palms  / snap of
heels on concrete stairs  /  ledge unsteady as hot wind hurries through a field  / cane field / flames
chase / sweet douse of tears that stopped crawling out lids / wet love potions / mixture of red clay
/ mother’s land soil that sleeps on forest floors / selected winds that surf tall field grass and hollers
between cotton barbs  /  drops of sun rays burnt through levees  / scrapple of vodou watchwords /
drowns  the  battlegrounds  drawn  in  the  silence  of  black  men.  /  deep- red  bone  legit  ligaments
disconnect  /  but inner connectivity to what ails lonely thighs  /  tightly loose and ready to jump /
how wide. / rainbow’s toss sprinkles to douse her flames / speaks of nefertari and sheba’s yoruba’s
second cousin  who spoke  ibo  / and  dressed  in  mudcloth  / and carried a  nguni shield  but  spoke
xhosa  /  this black male smoke screen all over the place  /   as her emotions / as she fidgets in her
emptiness / in thoughts of a man who may speak ibo / xhosa /  blackened english / and who holds
his head high for the love of clean water and black women / whose songs are wild hurricanes.

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