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Poet of the Week: Brionne Janae

Brionne Janae, Dorchester, MA
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CUTTING

again the blessed sunday bird went to fire whole.
your momma, all shined in her church things turned over

the shanty, she hunting for that good butcher
knife all day, cursing daddy and begging Christ ha’mercy.

you can hear her from the maize, you kneeling, knees dug
in the earth like this the last time, for sure, this the last

time. you don’t know no more how long
you called yourself quitting but still can’t forget

those little hurts. like how the veins jump
from momma’s throat when she whip eggs whites for easter pudding,

haul an ax over her back, or strike daddy with leaden fists
when he stagger home late slathered in blues.

and so early before the friday night hootch fled
his body you filched daddy’s butcher knife

hid in the tall swaying stalks settling your want in blood
crawling from your skin a freed thing calling on God.

 

Published by Nashville Review

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