by Maya Angelou
Your skin like dawn
Mine like musk
One paints the beginning
of a certain end.
The other, the end of a
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s siz …
But when I start to tell them,
Her arms semaphore fat triangles,
Pudgy hands bunched on layered hips
Where bones idle under years of fatback
When you come to me, unbidden,
To long-ago rooms,
In what other lives or lands
Have I known your lips
One innocent spring
your voice meant to me
less than tires turning
They went home and told their wives,
that never once in all their lives,
had they known a girl like me,
You drink a bitter draught.
I sip the tears your eyes fight to hold
A cup of lees, of henbane steeped in chaff.
Curtains forcing their will
against the wind,