Nikki Wallschlaeger, This Body Keeps the Keys

My dear sparkly eyed polyps,
I don’t have enough juice to
be the sole joist of this family
today

so I dream of clawfoot tubs
where I splash unapologetic
on how deep this umbilical gets
slumped from getting over,

hair unwashed, toenails randy
as hell because I am sincerely
mothered the fuck out, so tired
this mothering body

shellac lying face down on a
coastline ashing & mottled
pockmarked canker sorrel
no good pictures of myself

skinbag workhorse bb creamery
constant upkeep of management
cultivation of self-care cosmetic
black pride goddess goddamn

this shit get tiresome putting so
much effort into what doesn’t last
sometimes I want to retire shave
my head be a nun or a monk

just so I can forget all the years
time bludgeoned so I could look like
somebody else swimming around
in their own pallid wheel of tears

Yemaya, what is to become of us
I drag my body around lovingly but
it still won’t let me go

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