a curse to adam

Letitia Marie Pratt

dear husband: you are
doomed to meander
the earth alone

but she will not have you.
you’ve grown wary
of scowling rivers

that flow between
thighs. waters scorch
your tongue

as your young crawl
from my hips like snakes
to rebuke you

in the shade of the
wisdom tree
skins are shed

I subtly die there.
how freeing. a fig lands
in my palm

I calmly split its skin.

Delilah tells of her birthright

I am like a lion
whose stomach is swollen
with honey

a rapture. sewing into
sinew, calling upon
Judith

here I say prayers
of bone and ash
for comfort

I am the sharp edge
of a dual-pronged sword;
I am restless. I am undoing.

among gods that rupture
your refuge you lay
grieving

like a lily whose
corners curl
from sunburn

when I ask for your
pleading, you say
nothing.

you lower your head.
I draw my sword.


Letitia Marie Pratt’s (b. 1993) writing navigates the existence of black bodies within fantastic fiction and draws heavily on stories within Bahamian folklore. Her writing was included in the National Exhibition 8 at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas and WomanSpeak Journal. She completed a residency at the Fresh Milk Art Platform in Barbados and her most recent work, Pulling the Wings from Out My Back, was published with Poinciana Paper Press. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature from the College of the Bahamas.

 

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