Sister Twisted

by Margery Hannah


I look in the mirror and
see my spine twist

A flamingo’s neck
in a mangrove swamp
piercing mollusks
one at a time

I rub the crown of an
acacia seedling

With the neck
a giraffe lent
Its twist is deeper
than my spine’s

Behind my hips, look
see me switch

A rhino steams, charging
first and searching
later into thirty miles
of sticks

Wallowing in mud the color of my hair
Above cheeks made of hollow cliffs

And crushed pineapple marigolds
folded and unfolded between my lips
My teeth may define them, these
colors I permit

My eyes summon no praise and light no fires
They are driftwood belched forth by the sea

Inside an African milk cactus, my skin
is not a color or texture
true; defined only by pallid
sun scorched memories

And breasts suckled
into sand swept pyramids

©Margery Hannah 2007-2021

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