Poet of the Week: Amber Flora Thomas

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Having eaten your head clean off, my cat
drops your plump carcass on the doormat.
Between blood and purple clots, a bit of neck bone
insists on the air. I lean toward the sharpness,
get right up to the vacant white nipple, like milk
that has contested its cream and been deemed “fat-free.”

Transparent like a baby’s fingernail, the broken column
spills dead nerves. My cat licks her paw and smack!
your pudgy mass jumps, blood escaping into jute threads.

White like the full moon that night I was twelve
and we snuck up the road. He opened his blue jeans
and thrust his blunt eye at me. It was this
or nothing, he said. I wish I’d chosen nothing.

Later, the moon split the road with redwoods
and I relented to my home. Exhausted,
I didn’t swing my arms at the bat stealing moths
above my head.

I didn’t wake again until you, little mouse
resting in the middle of “welcome,” until my cat
in whose wide green eyes I see myself
leaning from the doorway, and I remember.


Previously published in Callaloo, A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters, Volume 34, Number 1 (2011)

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