BlaPoWriMo: A Lullaby

I watch your eye lashes
when you sleep, jealous
of how far they extend,
curling like decorative
wrought iron gates. What
do you dream when you
lay your head on my
breasts?—Rising and
falling with the rhythm
of our synchronized
breathing. Your lashes
flutter with every exhale,
and I imagine it is me
you see behind your
eyelids. I remember you
once threatened to cut
them, and I met you with
glue over my eyes, that
I could see what you see,
dream what you dream. I
caress your short curls
behind your ear. Cast
your burdens on me, dear
love. The world cares not
about us, our desires
and hopes, but together,
ascension is possible. So
dream on, and let me blow
on your lashes and watch
them shiver in the night.

—Nortina


Written for Black Poetry Writing Month, 2017— a fortnight of “black” love poetry. Join the challenge and share your love poems today!

BlaPoWriMo: The Darker the Berry . . .

Love Tanka #6

Of all the makeup,
apply lipstick first, red as
blood, let it illume
your dark cherry skin. A kiss
never tasted sweeter juice.

—Nortina


Via Mac Cosmetics Instagram
via Mac Cosmetics Instagram

Written for Black Poetry Writing Month, 2017— a fortnight of “black” love poetry. Join the challenge and share your love poems today!

#BlaPoWriMo: When Peaches Were in Season

Years later, and I still remember
your ginger hair, red like the sky
just before dusk, after the sun
has set behind the cotton fields,
and we’re back in the quarters,
you lying in hay, my face in the
roots of your crown, smelling the
spiced peaches you prepared for
the Missus. One night you snuck
a jar under the folds of your skirt,
and we hid in the balcony above
the chicken coup, slurping the
slimy sweet fruit between cinnamon
crusted fingers, dripping maple
syrup between wood planks into the
den of orange and brown feathers.
It was the only time you ever kissed
me, leaving behind the sticky,
sugary stain between my nose and
upper lip. I never wiped it off.
Not even when Ol’ Whalen tore my
back raw for loving his wench. Not
when he sent me to the driver to
break me. Not when Mama Celia
delivered your baby lighter than
you. No, not even when they sold
you to the rice plantation in South
Caroline, and I watched you dragged
behind the cart in chains, still
swollen from your recent labor, and
when you turned around one last time
to call goodbye, your crying eyes
leaking streaks of blood. But I still
remember your syrupy lips, fastened to
my rough, wiry beard two seconds shorter
than I wanted it to last, the caramelized
peaches squeezed between your teeth,
your copper hair flipped over your
face, a veil to hide your deepest thoughts,
until I parted the spirally locks
and met your stuffed cheeked grin,
oozing cinnamon and maple peach juice
from the corners of your mouth.

—Nortina


Written for Black Poetry Writing Month, 2017— a fortnight of “black” love poetry. Join the challenge and share your love poems today!