Friday Poem


After being told, “Oh, what would you know
about it anyway.”

How the room rained down
a mother's only blistering ash,
her words lifting then settling
clear and hot, then the branding
of me complete.

After she proclaimed
to the rest of the family
that whatever it is I do
with another woman
could never even-steven
to what she does with daddy.

As if my way to human pleasure
too inefficient to be called the same.
As if we who do with a woman
should find a new name
for the doing.

She, believing that my body
coming together with another
woman's a fake freak of nature,
not sex or love and could never be.

The sermon of her looks
always the same.

How my pot of woman
is not worth its salt
because there is not the pepper
of a man there.

That, in order for any woman
to cook up a thing worth
sensually serving
a lid and seasoning
of a certain fit and taste
is required.

That what I offer to the diamond
and life of another woman, that
then streams up my two front
female spines, that branches off
into a desert orchid, that grows
into a family of complicated
spirally things in the middle
of any hot springs geyser night,
is not worth its weight in sweat.

As if what I know about pleasure
and the microscopic fittings of love,
about the filling of an appetite
that lives somewhere between
my cerebellum and my thigh tissue,
that runs like a southern railroad
trestle to my heart bone emptying
next into my lung sacs, as if that
tenderness which douses all the gates
of my body clean and wet like all
the steamed water and wind that
ever was in the world suddenly
let loose, as if what comes from
the zest and tongue of another
woman's capsule to my own;
that intricate complicated vessel
of how and what we shape our
loving into, cannot be compared
to what she has felt between her
own gulf stream.

Mama, what appears shut sky
to you, is heaven opened wide
to me.

by Nikky Finny
from The World is Round
Innerlight Publishing, 2003