1. see poem 2. to make over the surface by taking steps with
the feet at a pace slower than a run 3. to go or travel on foot
4. to conduct oneself or behave in a particular manner
our black bodies are walking
one of us is holding the pizzas
the other one is holding the other
or maybe I am holding the pizza
boxes and I am holding him. we
are walking and we are black
we are walking and holding pizzas
we see the police in the parked police car
at the intersection of a private
street we need to cross, both aware of
the danger i feel his body close around me
he shrinks the space between his torso and
arm where my hand hides I know this flex
is one of protection drawing attention
he is telling me he knows. we are both
watching deeply. on surface we both ignore
he is talking and I am talking and he teases
me and I feigning naive as we pass the street.
as we ignore our black bodies and the threat
of police. we keep moving and I say, "Who then
will come and save me?" and he say, " Well
of course, the police with the rope in his car."
I remember the wax green of the bush leaves,
the shade of the trees around us. I feel his strong
black body, I feel it's hold I feel the weight of
what all black bodies know we know.
"yes," I say,
"if he doesn't use it to hang me first."
At the Kitchen Counter
1. see poem
the frayed pieces
are high and hollow
between the women
their brown fingers
break bodies open
trade the music of
must nots for the
crunch of roasted
nuts. how goes it?
the tune of women
each could be mother
each could have been
Sharea Harris, MFA, is a multi-genre black woman writer from deep in the American South; her current focus is at the nexus of identity, environment, and experience. Her work has appeared in lit journals, magazines, and on international stages. She supports writing projects big and small from her row home in Baltimore, MD. Catch up with her comings and goings at www.shareaharris.com.